Wednesday, November 1st is International Stress Awareness Day and Dr. Bradley Nelson, veteran holistic physician and bestselling author of “The Emotion Code,” shares 6 ways to beat stress for the holidays and year-round.

Stress affects everyone, damaging our health and relationships. Here are Dr. Nelson’s tips for reducing stress in your life:

1. Plan ahead and be flexible about your expectations.

Think about your plans for the upcoming holidays. Everyone else has expectations and sometimes they won’t match with yours. Plan for spontaneity. If you allow the plans that others have to be a part of what brings you joy, you’ll have more fun as everyone shares ideas and activities. Be the one who makes the holidays fun for others and it will be more joyful for you.

2. Be aware of what your body needs.

This includes healthy food, plenty of water, rest and exercise. So don’t throw your routines out the window when you’re on vacation. Get plenty of exercise so you’ll feel good. Continue eating healthy. You’ll feel better about yourself if you’re really taking care of your body!

3. Decide to take care of yourself emotionally.

You may need specific things such as the emotional support of a spouse, a lunch date with a friend or even just some time alone. Decide how busy you want to be ­– or not be! Say “no” to trying to do too much if it interferes with your health, family time or if it feels like it’ll cause too much stress for you.

4. Communicate with love.

If you’re feeling stressed by interactions with family or others, take a breather. You might go outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air. Be kind to everyone, including yourself. Give hugs. Make sure you’re not overreacting. None of us communicate perfectly. Try to see what others really mean, not just what they say. Give them the benefit of the doubt because it’s likely no offense was meant. Ask for clarification and react appropriately, with kindness, love and forgiveness. Some people really don’t have a handle on their behavior but it doesn’t have to affect how you feel or be your problem.

5. Choose Your Emotions:

Most people have this mistaken belief that our emotions choose us; that we are at the mercy of whatever emotions we tend to start feeling. But the reality of it is, no matter what the circumstance is, we always are choosing our own emotions. It’s important to recognize that fact. You don’t always have control over what happens to you but you can choose to respond proactively.

6. Identify and release “trapped emotions,”

…unresolved feelings from past negative and traumatic events emotional baggage can cause us to make wrong assumptions, react emotionally and contribute to anxiety, depression and most forms of illness.

About Dr. Bradley Nelson:

Dr. Nelson has lectured internationally on the natural healing of chronic illness and successfully treated patients from across the US and Canada for more than 20 years. He has trained more than 3,200 practitioners worldwide on how to help people overcome unresolved anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness and other negative emotions and the physical symptoms associated them. Dr. Bradley Nelson is one of the world’s foremost experts in the emerging fields of Bioenergetic Medicine and Energy Psychology. His bestselling book “The Emotion Code” is helping people all over the world to improve their lives easily and quickly. Download a free copy of The Emotion Code in both audio and .pdf versions, including step-by-step instructions for working with the body’s healing power at www.EmotionCodeGift.com or the app that works on iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices (a version for Android is in development).

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