Practice stress-reduction techniques

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:30

    Stress experts are reminding the public that one of the largest issues associated with the recent Swine flu outbreak is actually the “hysteria” people create among themselves. “Swine flu most likely won’t kill you, but stress will,” said international stress expert Dr. Kathleen Hall. “Stress lowers the immune system, so, stressing over the swine flu can actually make you more susceptible to it,” said Hall, founder and CEO of The Stress Institute and a frequent contributor to CNN, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Stress also increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity and accelerates aging, she said. Hall encouraged people to consider these “SELF” stress- and anxiety-reduction tips and techniques to help keep one’s immune system in shape and healthy. Hall said the “S” stands for serenity: Listen to music, laugh, repeat a positive affirmation or do a short meditation. “E” is for exercise: Take a walk, ride a bike, dance, practice yoga or play. “L” is for love: Maintain close relationships with friends and family members. Even an e-mail to a friend once a day can help, along with eating lunch with a friend or coworker regularly. “F” is for food: Nourish the body with healthy foods and nutrients like foods rich in B6, blueberries and omega 3s, all which help reduce stress and create balance.