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Coping with Stress in Uncertain Times

Article date: March 25, 2009

Times are tough, and with everything from jobs, houses, and nest eggs on the line, stress levels are high.

Constant stress takes an enormous toll on your body. When you're stressed for long periods of time, you have higher levels of the hormone cortisol in your bloodstream, which puts you at a greater risk for heart disease, sleep problems, digestive problems, and depression.

With that in mind, here are some stress-busting strategies:

Exercise. Working out improves your mood, releases tension, and boosts your confidence. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week.

Meditate. Using relaxation techniques – meditation and other breathing exercises – can help you feel more calm and focused.

Eat a healthy diet. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, and keep yourself revved with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.

Get plenty of sleep. Try not to skimp: getting plenty of z’s will help you ward off the effects of stress.

Make time for small pleasures. Make dinner plans with friends, take a bath, listen to music – do small things everyday that make you happy.

If you find that your stress has become overwhelming, contact a health care professional.

To learn more about meditation and other techniques that may help lower stress, see Mind, Body, and Spirit.


Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff

ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.

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