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Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on June 08, 2012

Sources

James Rippe, MD. Assoc. Professor of Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Narrator: How can I control my stress level?

James Rippe, MD: It seems to me, and we've looked at this a lot in both our clinic and our research lab, the essence of stress reduction is living in the present. So we have a little mantra that we use And the first is "Seize the day". It's basically, live in the present. A lot of people spend a lot of time regretting the past or fearing the future. At the expense of the living in the moment. Now I have to tell you that in my own life, that that's been an issue for me. I am known as the family worrier. And it's my wife Stephanie who has really helped me learn how to live more in the present, to smell the roses. Of course, having four little daughters also makes it much easier and more important to live in the present, so seize the day. Live in the present. "Get out of your own way". To think that we're going to live lives that do not have stress in them is a fantasy. In fact, some stress is probably necessary to do the best. So we're not going to be able to avoid some stress in our life, but how we deal with that stress, the emotional overlay that we put on that stress is really important. And the third, is "Make a personal play", and what I mean by that is don't let stress be free floating. Have a specific strategy in your life that works for you when it comes to managing your stress. Don't let it be free floating stress. For a lot of people, including myself, that strategy is regular exercise. If you as regular exercisers, why do you exercise, 75% of regular exercisers myself included will say I know it's good for me, but the reason I exercise is to reduce my stress. So having a specific plan of action to reduce your stress is very important. So Rippe's rules for relieving stress, Seize the Day, Get out of Your Own Way, and Make a Personal Play.

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