Less of that

Do less housework

Here are a few reasons why you should do less housework. Although heavy housework gives the same workout exercise, research done at the University of Bristol found that it didn't improve their subjects' fitness rate.

Although the women did at least 30 minutes of heavy housework a week (vacuuming, washing windows and floors), they weren't fit.

Research also shows that women who split the work load with their husbands are less stressed and depressed than those who don't .

Research done at the University of California showed that women are more in the mood for love if their partners help around the house!

Be less angry

Anger has a bigger effect on the body than most people realise. Your muscles tense, you might grind your teeth and experience ringing in your ears, your blood pressure rises, you sweat more and you could experience a headache afterwards.

Chronic anger is associated with peptic ulcers, constipation, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, frequent colds, heart attacks and strokes.

Healthy ways to control your anger are to walk away and cool down, to exercise, to pinpoint the reasons for your anger and deal with it, and relaxation techniques. If none of this helps, see a counsellor.

Worry less
Worrying can take up a lot of your time, leaving you feeling anxious and stressed. Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey suggests keeping a "worry log". Write down the date and all your worries and fears.

Then check back monthly to see if any of those worries actually came true.

This will help you put things in perspective and you will soon realise how much energy is wasted worrying about things that mostly never happen.

More of this

Be more assertive
Not sure whether you're a pushover? Then answer these questions:

Do you speak up when you have a different viewpoint to someone else?
Can you say no when you have to?
Can you handle positive criticism?
Do you trust your own judgment?
Can you speak your mind?

If you answered no to these questions, you need to be more assertive. Being assertive should not be confused with being aggressive. Assertiveness means to be in control of your thoughts and your deeds.

Assertiveness tricks are: look directly at the person you're talking to; stand tall and confidently; use gesture for emphasis; and speak calmly. Remember, it is okay to express your feelings and you should take responsibility for them as well.

Breath more
To increase your general well-being, breathe more deeply and through your nose, researchers say. Shallow breaths at the top of your chest (the way you breath when you upset) reduce the level of carbon dioxide in your blood.

This causes the arteries to constrict, which reduces the flow of blood. When this occurs, your brain and body will experience a shortage of oxygen and your "fight or flight" reflex will be activated, causing you t become irritable or anxious.

Research shows that six breaths per minute will calm the mind, and it's also good for your heart, because of the resulting optimum oxygen and blood flow.

Laugh more
Laughter is not only good for the soul, it's also an excellent booster for your immune system. Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones that suppress the immune system, raise blood pressure and increase the blood platelets (which can cause obstructions in the arteries).

Laughter also provides a good workout for your body since you use your diaphragm, abdominal muscles and facial and back muscles when having a good giggle.

Kiss more
Kissing is a great cardiovascular workout since adrenaline is released in the excitement that causes your heart to pump more blood around your body. Kissing also tones your facial muscles and if you do it for 15 minutes, it burns about 125 kilojoules.

On the emotional side an enjoyable kiss is good for stress and for keeping romance alive.

Be more organised
Disorganisation can clutter your mind and keep you from focusing on your work. Some people work best in chaos. However, if the disarray tends to overwhelm or distract you, take the following simple steps to bring more order into your life:

- Follow the FAT process when sorting through paperwork: file, act or toss it.
- Slot in time in your diary for doing administrative work, such as paying accounts.
- Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to plan for the next day.

Climb more stairs
Climbing stairs is an excellent all-round exercise with numerous benefits. It conditions your lungs, strengthens your muscles and helps to keep your weight in check.

The best way is to climb two stairs at a time - this will shape those thigh and bottom muscles.

Going down steps will strengthen your thigh muscles and, to a lesser extent, the hamstrings.

Read more

Reading is excellent for your mind - not only as brain food but for your mental health as well. Reading can help you to relax and feel refreshed, because it requires a deep level of concentration that helps you to forget current troubles and issues.

Books can teach you things about yourself that can lead to healthier behaviour.

In fact, did you know that reading is used as a form of therapy in West Yorkshire where patients are treated by bibliotherapists?

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