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Column: Lose the stress, find some relief

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We all have days when we are stressed out and worry about something. It may be a sick child, or a student a term paper or speech. In our economy, it could be being laid off, work atmosphere or a legal problem.

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Some stress is healthy, but the other is harmful to people. The American Institute of Stress said 90 percent of all doctor visits maybe attributed to bad stress.

The good kind of stress, or eustress, keeps our reflexes sharp and minds active. It's the chronic stress that takes its toll with prolonged exposure. This happens when the body produces high levels of hormone coctisol that may lead to diabetes, heart disease, belly fat, memory loss and even in some cases, cancer. The World Health Organization predicts depression caused by stress will be the leading cause of disability by 2020. Therefore, it is so important for people to take the right approach on how our bodies react and what can be done to maintain a healthy body avoiding disruption to the nervous or immune systems. Our brains can adjust to reactions boosting moods and control over the situation.

If or when prolonged periods of stress take over your life, there are ways to control or divert it.

First, try and talk through the problem. You can take a walk or exercise, picture yourself in a peaceful situation, take up yoga. Learn how to say no, committing to only what you can handle comfortably. Get plenty of rest, seven to nine hours a night. Drink plenty of water and remember to eat smaller meals that include two fruits and at least three vegetable servings a day.

One banana is loaded with B6, a mood booster.

Read a book or page through a magazine that interests you. Turn off you phones and the television, allowing you to have five or 10 minutes of quiet me time.

Inhale deep breath through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat until your body relaxes. Think of something that inspires you. It could be a visit or phone call to an old friend, joining an organization where you could volunteer, running an errand for a shut-in or simply going for a walk or ride. It will do wonders for you in a short time.

Regardless how you elect to cope with stress, always remember in life, there are rivers to cross and mountains to climb with ups and downs.

Each person is different. It's what works best for you to handle the stressful situation.

Chicken rice

casserole

4 cups diced cooked chicken

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 soup cans water

1 cup uncooked rice

2 cups frozen peas

1/2 cup roasted cashews

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 cup celery

Saute onion and celery in olive oil for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and put into sprayed casserole. Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour. Yield: six servings.

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