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Sunday, August 5, 2001
Stressbusters

Rules for low-stress living
V.K. Kapoor

  • Make time your ally, not your master.

  • Associate mostly with gentle people who affirm your personality.

  • Learn and practice the skill of deep relaxation.

  • Use an aerobic exercise such as jogging to build your health to a high level of conditioning.

  • Manage your life as a total enterprise, as you would manage a corporation.

  • Donít become lopsided in any one area; seek rewarding experiences in all dimensions of living.

  • Engage in meaningful, satisfying work.

  • Donít let your work dominate your entire life.

  • Get your body weight down to a level you can be pleased with, and keep it there.

  • Form and maintainsensible eating habits. Use sweets rarely, minimise intake of junk food, emphasise foods you like that are good for you.

  • Zealously guard your personal freedoms ó the freedom to choose your friends, the freedom to live with and/or love whom you choose, the freedom to think and believe as you choose, the freedom to structure your time as you see fit, the freedom to set your own life goals.

  • Find some time every day ó even if only 10 minutes ó for complete privacy, alone with your thoughts, and freedom from the pressures of work. Preferably do this for a few minutes several times a day. Maintain "stability zones", personal rituals, and a comfortable pattern that will insulate you somewhat from Future Shock.

 
  • If you smoke, stop completely.

  • Use liquor only for social or ceremonial purposes, if at all. Donít let it use you.

  • Minimise or eliminate the use of recreational drugs.

  • Free yourself from the chemical tyranny of tranquilisers, sleeping pills. headache pills, and other central nervous system depressants.

  • Free yourself from dependency on patent medicines such as antacids, laxatives, and cold remedies by teaching your body to relax and normalise its functions.

  • Have an annual physical examination to provide extra peace of mind.

  • Donít drift along in troublesome and stressful situations. Rehabilitate a bad marriage or else end it. "Fire" those friends from your life who are not really your friends. Take action to settle those matters that are troubling you. Donít leave conflict-ridden situations unresolved for so long that they make you worry needlessly.

  • Have one or more pastimes that give you a chance to do something relaxing, without having to have something to show for it.

  • Open yourself up to new experienes. Try doing things you have never done before, sample foods you have never eaten and go places you have never seen. Find self-renewing opportunities.

  • Read interesting books and articles to freshen your ideas and broaden your points of view. Listen to the ideas and opinions of others in order to learn from them. Avoid "psychosclerosis" (also known as "hardening of the categories"). Reduce or eliminate television watching.

  • Form at least one or two high-quality relationships with people you trust and can be yourself with.

  • Review your "obligations" from time to time and make sure they will also bring rewards for you. Divest yourself of those that are not good for you.

  • Surround yourself with cues that affirm positive thoughts and positive approaches to life and that remind you to relax and unwind occasionally.

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