How to keep your mind healthy
Stress is the biggest killer
of the twenty first century.
It can damage your body and your mind and
is a common cause of anxiety.
The symptoms of anxiety include
sleeplessness, panic attacks, phobias and an inability to relax. Many physical
disorders - including heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, indigestion,
eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and alopecia - are caused by stress and
The causes vary but include worry about work, money and
relationships. Medical treatment often involves tranquillisers or sleeping
tablets but it is now recognised that the drugs used can be addictive and may
cause many problems of their own.
Here are ten tips for controlling
the stress in your life.
1. Learn to recognise when you are under too
much stress. Most of us have a weak point. Learn to recognise your weak point.
It will tell you when you are under too much pressure.
The commonest early
warning signs are:
* poor memory
* feeling tearful
If your doctor cannot
find an explanation for any of these symptoms then they are probably a sign that
you're under stress. Pull back a little. Do less. Take a break.
Cut out unnecessary stresses.
Make a list of all the things you are planning
to do this week.
Now decide how much time you are going to spend on things
YOU want to do. And how much on things that you are doing for OTHER
Then see which list is longest.
Work out what your priorities
What can you cut from both lists?
3. Let your emotions
Do not be frightened to show that you are sad or angry.
you feel happy.
Cry when you feel sad.
Bottling up your emotions leads to
4. Organise your life.
By planning properly
you will be able to reduce unexpected stresses.
5. Learn to value
Build yourself up by writing down all your virtues.
Look at the
following list of words and underline the ones that apply to you:
generous, kind, hard-working, creative, fair, thoughtful, attentive, honest,
conscientious, tolerant, unselfish, friendly, considerate, good-humoured,
charitable, witty, wise, clever.
Make a list of all your other skills - and
think of all the good things you can say about yourself.
boredom from your life.
Try taking up a hobby that you find rewarding.
join a voluntary organisation that supports some cause you firmly believe in.
7. Learn to relax properly.
Imagine that you are lying on a
grassy bank by a clear country stream.
Close your eyes.
Try to 'feel'
Try to hear the water and the birds.
Try to feel the
sunshine on your face. As you relax so your whole body - and your mind - will
8. Get rid of your worries by writing them down.
a piece of paper and a pencil.
Make a list of all the things that are
Just writing them down will often help.
Now go through the
list and decide exactly what you can do about each one.
9. Take your
Some people boast that they haven't had a holiday for years.
If you are uptight then you need to get away to relax.
that short holidays taken often are probably more good to you than long,
infrequent holidays taken when you are too exhausted to benefit.
Learn to do nothing.
Most of us are always in a rush.
Try to learn now how
to do nothing occasionally.
Copyright Vernon Coleman