Successfully navigate stress triggers such as traffic jams, annoying mother-in-laws, unruly kids.
Life is full of stressful situations. Tackle them one at a time:
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1. Your client is late.
Do yoga at work, says Darrin Zeer, author of Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People. His "Late Client Stretch": Place both hands on the doorjams at shoulder height, feet hip-width apart. Gently let your body stretch forward. Relax your head and breathe.
Play hooky, urges our fitness columnist Stu Watson. If you must, take your cell phone with you. Place calls once an hour for five minutes. Play the other 55 minutes.
Don't beat yourself up. Remind yourself that failing at one thing doesn't make you a complete failure, says Michael Edelstein, author of Three Minute Therapy.
De-stress with every breath, says Dennis Lewis, a breathing specialist and author of the Tao of Natural Breathing. Slow down overall respiration; increase the fullness of each breath, especially the exhaling breath; and relax the muscles of the chest, back and diaphragm.
Imagine that the people in the cars around you are people you know, such as your wife, advises Michael Adair, author of Hey! You're Driving Me Crazy!. You wouldn't get as upset at your wife or friend for some bonehead traffic move, as you would a stranger.
Turn the occasion into your own personal Thanksgiving, a chance to appreciate what you've done in 20 years, whether or not anyone else cares, says Jerry Minchinton, author of Wising Up. It's you who must be pleased.
An ethical existence not only serves others, but gives us peace of mind, says Minchinton. Tell your friend he's on his own. It's not you who is being a poor friend; it is he for asking you to be dishonest.
Inaction can be one of the greatest causes of stress, says Minchinton. Arrange a meeting with your boss. Ask him if there are changes or things he'd like to see more of in your work. If you can't work it out, update your resume and start networking.
9. You also have a mother-in-law from hell.
You can't change her, but you can change your response to her, says Minchinton. Don't get defensive and don't seek her approval. She can't make a ripple, if there is no one around who bothers taking offense.
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