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How to keep your cool

Sarah Horrocks
by Sarah Horrocks Published on 22 January 2009

Trouble at work? Nosy neighbour? It’s not always easy to keep your cool under these and many other circumstances. Here’s some advice to apply every day to help you develop a zen attitude!

Sources of tension

Your other half leaves his dirty socks in the living room floor, Junior breaks the vase your grandmother gave you, a crazy driver recklessly overtakes you...sources of tension and aggression are many. Even at work, unpleasant remarks and other small irritations sometimes make us fly off the handle.

Learn to keep things in perspective

It is important to know how to step back in all circumstances. Being objective about the seriousness of the situation and not making a mountain out of all everyday worries will stop you from letting your emotions get the better of you. If you feel as if you're losing it, take 5 minutes out instead of exploding. Breathe deeply, take a walk, drink a large glass of water and ask yourself some questions. Is it really serious? Will shouting improve the situation? It’s important to understand that your angry reaction may let you vent your frustration at the time, but it won't help you in the long run.

Cultivate a healthy lifestyle
Leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle helps develop and maintain a zen attitude. Don’t skip meals, eat healthy and balanced meals, avoid stimulants like coffee and cigarettes, as well as sedatives. And don’t forget the importance of sleep. It recharges your batteries and relieves the day's tensions.

Exercise to relax
Walking, running, cycling and swimming are activities that allow you to let off steam and chase away your worries. Exercise once or twice a week helps the circulation and eases muscular tension. If you are more relaxed everyday you will react with more composure when something gets to you.

Take time out
Try out relaxation techniques like yoga, sophrology, meditation, controlled breathing, massage and why not a music? The key is to spend some time with your mind free of all stress, to calm your nerves, re-centre yourself and your priorities.

by Sarah Horrocks

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