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Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
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Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
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Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
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Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
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Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
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Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
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Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
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Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
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Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
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Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
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Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
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Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
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Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
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17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday

17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday

It's easy to get overwhelmed by your workdays, but it is possible to create an environment where you can allow yourself to be more relaxed and happier. The first step is the realization that you are in control of your day, and the belief that you can create the perfect workday.

1. Do Less. Learn to reduce the amount you do -- perhaps you could choose three important things to achieve each day, the ones that will have the most impact on your life.

2. Start the day with a relaxing shower or bath. This will get you in a relaxed mood, which is much better than starting the day stressed out.

3. Get in some morning exercise. It will relax you, and gives you a sense of well-being and accomplishment.

4. Create a clutter-free environment. Clutter-free surroundings create a peaceful working environment.

5. Turn off the distractions. This includes phones, email notification, instant messaging, anything that will break into your focus.

6. Take breaks and stretch. Get up, stretch, massage your shoulders, neck and head; it will keep you relaxed throughout the day.

7. Roll with the punches. There will always be things that go wrong. When things get overwhelming, take a step back to get some perspective.

8. Work when itís quiet. This may be early in the morning, during your office lunch hour, or late at night -- choose whatever works for you so that you can get some solid work in without distractions.

9. Cut back on your commitments. Choose four to five things that are absolutely essential, and then eliminate the rest over time.

10. Focus on the present. Rather than worrying about what you have to do in the future, or reliving things that happened in the past, focus on what youíre doing right now.

11. Single-task. For me, focus is everything. Writing this article would take twice as long, and be much less peaceful, if I was constantly interrupted, if I was constantly switching between this and email and surfing the web and other tasks I have to do. I like to focus on one task at a time, if possible, and really lose myself in the writing.

1. 12. Take breaks and stretch. While focusing on one task at a time is important, itís also important to take breaks when you can. Get up, stretch, get a glass of water. Massage your shoulders, neck and head. It keeps you relaxed throughout the day.

2. 13. Go for a walk. I also like to take a break and go for a walk. It helps me get perspective, to think, to get a better overall picture on my workday and my life. Plus it gets the blood circulating.

14. Eat lunch in quiet. Iím kind of a shy guy, and while many people do lunch meetings, I would rather eat at my desk with a good book or take my sack lunch to a park for a peaceful, meditative eating break.

15. Do mini-meditations. This doesnít require a mat or a temple or soothing tapes or anything. Just sit where you are, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing ó on your breath as it comes into your body, and then goes out. This helps me to center myself, no matter what is going on with work.

16. Learn to focus on the present. Related to the mini-meditations and single-tasking. Basically, instead of worrying about what you have to do in the future, and instead of reliving things you did in the past, focus on what youíre doing right now. This can be difficult, as our minds have a tendency to wander to other things, but itís simply a matter of practice - be aware of where your mind is, and when it drifts to other things, gently bring it back to the present. This helps keep your mind in a peaceful place all day long.

17. Roll with the punches. There will always be things that go wrong. What is important is how we react to them ó do we go all Drama Queen, and get stressed and upset? Or do we accept what has happened, and make a calm decision about what to do now? When things get overwhelming, take a step back to get some perspective, and realize that in a few months, none of this will really matter much ó and then take steps to eliminate the non-essential and focus on whatís really important.

Mercola - February 21, 2008
Zen Habits - February 3, 2008