As a physician, I hear the word “STRESS” more than two dozen times per day. “Mr/Mrs X, your blood pressure is high today.”

“Well Doc, I have really been under a lot of stress recently”, is a common answer I hear from my patients visit after visit, not recognizing that the physician who is sitting across from them lives a life “by profession” that is nothing but stress!

Despite this, I try to take few minutes to teach stress management to my patients. After all, medication can only do so much to help and there isn’t really any FDA approved medication on the market for “de-stressing.” No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure. Here is a short list to start with:

  1. Eat a healthy diet at least five days a week. Give yourself a break during the weekend! Reward yourself with a scoop of ice cream, a slice of cheesecake, or a piece of chocolate. Remember, you can enjoy everything BUT ONLY in European portion size!!!
  2. Walk 30 minutes a day while listening to lively music or invite a friend to walk with you.
  3. Talk to your family and keep in touch with your close friends on a regular basis. They will keep you motivated and shine light on your future path!
  4. Let go of your past and start living in the present. Also, do not carry someone else’s baggage for them!
  5. Do not revolve your life around someone else. You are responsible for your own well being and happiness. Stop pleasing people!
  6. Shift your life in the direction you want it to go. Follow your dream and set aside some time each day to do what makes you happy.
  7. Let go of the little things and cut major sources of stress out of your life. Make your life simple. Less is more. You do not need “stuff” to make you happy.
  8. Remember, big events in life happen rarely so take joy in small surprises that come your way every day.