Me and stress?  We know each other well…

…and let’s just say we don’t get on.

Now there are some (strange) people who thrive on stress, it gets their adrenaline pumping, motivates them to perform better and get results.

I ain’t one of those people!

Stress makes me emotional, I make rash decisions, it triggers bad eating habits, my nails crack, my skin is awful, my exercise regime goes out the window!

It does not bring out the best in me.

And I would suspect many people find themselves in a similar situation, at least when they hit a certain level of stress – or what I call their stress threshold.

Don’t get me wrong…we need a small amount of stress for simple survival, otherwise we wouldn’t feed ourselves, we wouldn’t protect ourselves from life threatening situations

Over the last few years, gaining more responsibility at work, managing people, managing finances, meant I needed to find a way to deal with stress so as not to let it get to a stage that would have a negative impact.

I found being fit and healthy with an overall sense of well-being was absolutely critical to this.

So here are my 10 tips to achieve that health and wellness and reduce those stress levels.

PHYSICAL

1. Breathe deeply.
Expel harmful toxins: A rich supply of oxygen can make the difference between feeling tired and stressed and youthful and focused.

» Take at least five deep breaths from your abdomen several times a day.

2. Drink water.
Detoxify and hydrate: Nutrient absorption, blood flow, respiration, elimination and your ability to see and hear require adequate consumption of pure, clean water.

» Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.

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3. Sleep peacefully.
Rejuvenate and repair: Sleep deprivation limits the production of enzymes and hormones your body needs to keep you healthy and prevent premature aging.

» Strive to get eight hours of sleep every night.

4. Eat nutritiously.
Nourish and energize: A balanced diet gives you the energy you need today and the disease-fighting strength you need to build a healthy future.

» Eat whole foods combined with quality nutritional supplements.

5. Enjoy activity.
Strengthen body and spirit: Moderate daily activity increases your circulation, purges toxins from your body, bolsters your immune system and boosts your spirit.

» Make an investment in at least 10 minutes of moderate daily activity, like walking, each day.

EMOTIONAL

6. Give and receive love.
Bring purpose to your life: Meaningful, lifelong relationships and cherished memories bring joy in happy times and strength in difficult times.

» Every day, look for ways to express love for the special people in your life.

7. Be forgiving.
Let go and move forward: By forgiving yourself and others, you gain freedom from negativity and guilt and you give comfort and strength to those you love.

» Make a point to consciously forgive anyone who has offended you.

8. Practice gratitude.
Enlighten and brighten: When you recognize and appreciate all that you have, you can find and express pure joy.

» Make a list of the people, things and blessings for which you are grateful.

9. Develop acceptance.
Release anxiety: When you develop the ability to accept the circumstances in your life you cannot change, yet strive to make positive changes whenever you can, you discover lasting peace and hope.

» Focus on positive changes in yourself and others. Celebrate small successes.

SPIRITUAL

10. Develop a relationship with “God.”
This is not about worshiping a specific deity. Regardless of beliefs most people feel there is something else out there, bigger than us, that we are all ultimately connected to. It could be God, universal energy, higher self… it doesn’t matter.

Tap into that connection. Discover unconditional love: By offering a simple prayer daily, you will enjoy a sense of well-being that cannot be experienced any other way.

» Take at least 15 minutes each day to spend in prayer, meditation and inspirational reading.
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