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Be Less Stressed
by Dr. Dale V. Atkins, September 2005

We are all living with more stress today. In this world of high speed technology, too much information and overscheduling, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the things we have to do in our everyday lives. And for most, stress seems to kick up a notch in September when the lazy days of summer are over and we get back to a faster pace.

How can we maintain some of the "summer calm" and deal with life's stressors? Here are some Sanity Savers to develop a program to manage your stress and keep balance every day of the year.

1. Develop an optimistic attitude - View adversity as an opportunity for learning and growth.
2. Prioritize and do one thing at a time - You don't have to do everything all at once. Taking tiny steps each day can help you reach your goals. Identify time wasters.
3. Shed the SUPERPERSON image - There's no kryptonite on earth so let go of being superman, superworker, supermom, superwife.
4. Learn to be satisfied with "less than perfect" - Being perfect is impossible. Be more compassionate with yourself. Learn to quiet self criticism.
5. Be less critical of others - Be more tolerant, forgiving and patient of others. Listen to their concerns and find ways to compromise.
6. Learn to say NO!
7. Let go of things outside of your control - You can't change people and some situations so why even try?
8. Live healthfully and consciously - Eat well, exercise, get restful sleep, build a spiritual connection. Journaling, imagery and breathing exercises help to gain a sense of balance.
9. Be with people who are good for you - Spend time with positive people whom you care about and who care about you.
10. Laugh and play - Take time from work to enjoy life and add humor and creative play to your routine.
11. Do what you love to do - Find rewarding work, volunteer or pursue a hobby. When a person is involved with what they love, stress is reduced.

Refill your personal reservoir to balance your life. Draw on your inner strength to become more resilient. This will help you to better handle the stresses in your life.

You can feel less stressed and increase your self - worth whenever you do new things, stretch your resourcefulness, develop new skills, improve your capabilities, cultivate compassion for others, and contribute to making the world a better place.

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