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Stress and Sweat: 10 Tips to Stay Cool Under Fire

Staying Cool: 10 Stress-Busting Tips continued...

4. Turn on soothing music. There's a reason spas play gentle music while you're getting a massage. Music can help you relax almost as much as the massage itself. Studies of people with heart disease find that listening to music lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and slows breathing. Fill your CD or MP3 player with calming classical or new age music, close your eyes, and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation.

5. Go for a swim. Exercise is a great stress-buster. When you work out, your body releases endorphins -- brain chemicals that give you a feeling of well-being. The problem is, people who soak through their workout clothes the second they step on a treadmill might be shy about going to the gym. Try swimming instead. It's not only good exercise, but once you're in the water no one can see you sweat.

6. Drink decaf. If you're addicted to your morning cup of java, find another way to wake up. Caffeine boosts blood pressure, increases heart rate, and one study shows it may amplify the daily stress you're already experiencing.

7. Have a good laugh. It's not just an expression -- laughter really is the best medicine. Put "Some Like it Hot" or another classic comedy in your DVD player and wait for the health benefits to begin. Just the anticipation of that first laugh is enough to lower your stress hormone levels, researchers say. Laughing first activates, and then relieves your stress response, producing an overall feeling of calm. A good belly laugh also improves the body's oxygen flow and blood circulation, and it can do wonders to improve your attitude.

8. Write it down. Sometimes the best way to deal with stressful feelings is to put them down on paper. Start keeping a daily journal. Write about whatever stresses you out during the day. Once you begin to understand your stress triggers, you can start getting control over them.

9. Get help. Trying to deal with your sweating problem on your own can be stressful in itself. It can really help to talk with a professional psychologist or counselor, or to join a support group of people who have dealt with the same problem. If sweating is a persistent problem for you, see a doctor to find out what's causing you to sweat, and to learn about possible treatments.

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