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You may think that living on a Caribbean Island would be the perfect antidote to stress, but very few of us here have the luxury of laying on the beach drinking cocktails day in day out and so knowing how to manage stress is just as important here as it is anywhere. Stress is usually perceived as a bad thing but it can be argued that everyone needs a certain amount of stress to live a motivated life. A life without stress sounds ideal but without it, a person can feel under stimulated and bored.  A little amount of stress can give a person vitality and zest, enough to get out of bed and provide motivation to get on with things they would rather not do. Stress in excess can however be a very bad thing and can lead to feelings of anger, anxiety, fear, distrust and can destroy relationships at work and at home. Stress also can result in health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. In order to cope with stress people often look to things unhealthy and ineffective to help them find relief such as overeating or under eating, using pills to relax, zoning out in front of the TV or computer for hours, smoking, drinking, or getting angry.  Instead of the above healthier alternatives such as going out having fun with friends, getting a massage, playing sports, walking on the beach, going for a swim, taking a nap, taking a yoga or meditation class, eating a healthy diet, and generally laughing and having a good sense of humor are things that could help relieve stress more naturally and be a lot better for you.

Managing time better can help reduce stress but this can be difficult to achieve. Most people are trying to cram too much into one day trying to meet everyone’s expectations and trying to please friends, family and work colleagues, all of whom demand absolute attention to their needs. Prioritizing your life can help you manage your valuable time and lower stress levels too. Trying to understand what you are spending your time on can help you decide what to prioritize and what not to, you may even just drop the tasks which aren’t truly necessary this can make you feel more in control and less overwhelmed. Organizing your week by using a chart or a week at a glance diary can also help.

Learning how to say ”no” also helps reduce stress as you will then not be taking on more than you can handle.

Take control of your environment, if you get stressed in the daily rush hour, get up earlier or leave work earlier to avoid it or take a less travelled route. If going to the supermarket stresses you go at quieter times of the day or do your shopping on-line.

Avoid people who stress you out. If there is someone who causes you to feel stressed try not to interact with that person but if you have to  limit the amount of time you spend with them you can perhaps interact with them by e-mail rather than face to face, failing that end the relationship completely.

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