October 11, 2012
Slow Down to Reduce Your Stress

These days, everyone always seems to be in a big hurry. We're in a hurry to get to work. We're in a hurry to get home. We're in a hurry to get our errands done. Our Internet connection isn't fast enough. We don't have time for breakfast. We don't have time to sit down for family meals; we just grab fast food and go. We're constantly trying to multi-task. Even our news has been reduced to sound bites.

Basically, many of us suffer from "hurry disease." The medical term for this is "time urgency impatience", or TUI. TUI can take a toll on your health. Studies have shown that it increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, other physical problems, and even traffic accidents.

The message is that we all need to slow down. However, slowing down is tough in today's demanding society. Here are some tips to help you beat TUI.

• Try yoga or meditation. They will teach you to relax, and control your breathing and thoughts. Research has shown yoga and meditation reduce anxiety, impatience and hostility, and alter the perceived passage of time.
• Listen to relaxing music. This has been shown in numerous studies to decrease stress.
• Take walks more often. Not only will this help you slow your day down and clear your mind, but it will increase your NEAT.
• Slow down when you eat. You will actually enjoy your food more and you'll feel more satisfied. In fact, you'll also eat less, because eating slowly allows your digestive system time to send the chemical signals to your brain that signal that you are full. This is very important if you're trying to lose or maintain weight.
• Take time for breakfast. Not only will it help you start your day slowly and with focus, but you will eat fewer calories during the day.
• Try to avoid multi-tasking. While you may feel like you're getting more accomplished when you multitask, the opposite may be true. In one study, people took 20 to 30 percent longer to complete two separate problems when switching back and forth than when they performed the tasks sequentially. You will actually concentrate better, and get more accomplished, if you do things one at a time. Multi-tasking can also cause short-term memory problems. In fact, researchers have noticed changes in concentration and gaps in attentiveness, and a sort of temporary attention deficit disorder develops.
• Remember that slowing down does not make you lazy, nor does it mean procrastination or inefficiency. In fact, slowing down means the opposite: It means paying attention to detail and giving 100 percent in everything that you do.

Try some of these suggestions and you'll find yourself more relaxed, more efficient, and healthier. You'll also find that you're surprisingly more productive.

If you would like more information on stress please view our stress videos to learn how it can affect weight loss and some key coping mechanisms.

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