Family Relationships

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Sixty Minute Solutions for Less Stress

If you’re looking for less stress and more mental freedom, you may be a candidate for a tech detox. Instead of 24/7 connectivity and instant gratification that’s no longer so gratifying, how about creating a sacred space where you can daydream and relax?

There’s a backlash brewing in the digital world as more boomers turn gray and information overload increases. How tense are you lately? Stress can manifest physiologically with headaches or stomach upset, emotionally by feelings of irritability or overwhelm, behaviorally through changes in your eating or sleep patterns, cognitively with memory loss or trouble concentrating.

If you can’t afford to take time off and unplug in the south of France, here are practical tips to develop a different mindset and restore balance right here at home:

Seek solitude. Set limits by saying 'no' to others and 'yes' to yourself. A physical place with little opportunity for distraction will free up your thoughts. Try not to worry about mistakes from the past or what the future will bring. As you disconnect, stay in the moment. Carve out an hour every day for quiet time and discover what brings you peace of mind.

Change your attitude. Emotional discomfort can be an opportunity for greater self understanding, and awareness is always the first step toward change. Learn how to face uncertainty with a positive attitude or turn pessimistic ideas into more optimistic ones. Six sessions with a cognitive therapist can teach you a lot about how to reframe your thoughts and gain a different perspective.

Practice meditation. Find ways to attend to your mind and spirit. Learn about techniques of deep breathing or develop a yoga discipline. Drop your thoughts into the space between breaths and steer your mind away from constant stimulation. Think about nothing and completely clear your head. Mindfulness is a concept derived from Buddhism that's central to meditation and involves being present and observant without judgment.

Want to share some ideas about how you disconnect and find moments of mental tranquility? Just click on 'comments' below and follow the prompts. And log on Wednesday for more practical tips about de-stressing your life.

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