Monday, December 17, 2007

How to Add Tranquility to Your Daily Routine

Appraising Your Success
The end of the week is a good time to review the past week of your SWEET Life and count up your accomplishments. Your goal is 5-6 times per week for each aspect of the SWEET Life: Sleep, Water, Eating, Exercise, and Tranquility. If you didn’t achieve some of your goals for the week, then next week, focus on those areas more and think about how to fulfill them more consistently.

How do you feel at the end of this week? Are you better rested? Do you feel relaxed? Are you more energetic? Do you feel generally healthier? Continue with the SWEET Life and you’ll experience all of these feelings!

Topic of the week -- How to Add Tranquility to Your Daily Routine

The “T” in the SWEET Life is for Tranquility. It’s really about tension-reduction or stress-relief. As much as it would be nice to live in a constantly tranquil world, no one does. We all have stress in our lives; some of us have more stress than others. At the same time, some stress is within our control, but some is not. Because of that, it is important to have multiple methods of relieving your stress. Some people just accept that their lives are extremely stressful; those are the people who need methods of relieving stress the most!

Excessive stress over time can contribute to a variety of ailments, such as hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, ulcers, neck or low back pain. Stress can negatively affect many aspects of the SWEET Life as well. Stress can cause insomnia, as you think about what is stressing you, rather than sleep. Stress can cause you not to pay attention to drinking your daily water. Stress can cause you to eat “comfort” foods, especially those high in salt, sugar, and fat, rather than eating a variety of nutritious foods. Stress can cause you not to exercise, convincing yourself that you don’t have time for it. And thus the downward spiral of stress makes you not live any aspects of the SWEET Life.

Everyone needs multiple, healthy methods of relieving stress because, depending on the situation, we can’t always do our preferred method. Personally, exercise is my preferred method of relieving stress. A 3-mile run can solve all my problems because it gives me time for my mind to wander, absorb whatever’s on my mind, and find solutions to any problems. However, if it’s night time or raining, I can’t run, so I need other methods. Journaling also works for me; writing down whatever is on my mind helps me clarify what is causing stress and work out solutions. Some people prefer calming types of stress-relief like a bath, yoga, listening to relaxing music, meditation, etc. Others prefer hobbies, such as knitting, baking, painting, etc. to help them relieve stress and find tranquility. Others prefer more active pursuits, like exercise, playing with their kids, driving, gardening, etc. What’s important is to find healthy things to do, rather than alcohol, drugs, shopping, etc. It’s also important to find a variety of things that will make you feel tranquil to do in different circumstances.

Lastly, it’s important to spend time every day in tranquility. A mere 30-minutes a day will go far in helping you relax, relieve stress and find tranquility. An hour a day is even better.

The following web pages are excellent sources of information about stress:

Have a SWEET week!


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