Monday, January 21, 2008

Lower Your Stress

by keeping in touch with your friends. I routinely glance at and was reading an article on 14 time-savers that really aren't. In our I-don't-have-time-for-that-most-focus-on-me world, have you ever noticed feeling a bit frayed at the ends, but when getting it off your chest, you feel better?

Everyone is busy. You're no different from anyone else - sorry, but it's true. Better that I let you in on that little secret now than you going through the rest of your life thinking otherwise. Perhaps to make yourself feel better, as well as make your friends feel better, call them just to say you're thinking of them. Return phone calls. Respond to emails you get. Someday, if you're not careful, you'll find that you have no one to call because you were too wrapped up in you.

From Prevention:

Don't Keep in Touch with Pals
You've gotten too busy to stay in regular touch with even your close friends.

"When someone is stressed-out, one of the first things to go is socializing," says Patricia A. Fennell, the CEO of Albany Health Management Associates in Albany, NY, and author of The Chronic Illness Workbook. But research shows that having close, supportive relationships has a tremendously positive impact on your health.

A large study at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that women who were at high risk significantly reduced their odds of developing heart disease if they had a strong support network in place. There was a significant link to a history of heart disease for those who ranked high on hostility and low on social support, even when other unhealthy behaviors were taken into account. An ongoing Harvard study showed much the same thing in men who don't have good relationships.

Next Time Start daily "check-ins" with the people you're closest to, suggests Fennell, who encourages clients to try a simple technique she uses herself. "I'll call my best friend and leave her a quick message--'I love you, I'm thinking about you'--and she does the same for me," says Fennell. "Check-ins hardly take any time, but they leave you feeling grounded and connected."

Give it a shot and see how it works for you.

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