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Research into the mind-body connection has paved the way for an old motto, with a new twist: You are what you feel.

Feeling stressed not only puts you emotionally on edge, it raises blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and contributes to all sorts of physical ailments. Likewise, feeling peaceful and happy can go a long way toward good health.

* Before getting out of bed, resist the impulse to propel yourself into the day's frenzy. Instead, lie still and take a few moments to experience how you feel and the sensations around you—how your head feels resting on the pillow, how the comforter feels on your body, or how the sun feels on your face.

* Try to remember how your feelings as you awoke felt, so that if anxiety starts creeping into your day, "you can go back to that feeling." Or use mindfulness (which is simply being aware and present in the moment) throughout the day to keep you better grounded. It'll help you communicate better with others, too.

* When you're stuck in traffic or you find a heated confrontation building between you and your co-worker, or with your children or spouse, take a few seconds for some deep breaths, count to 10 or repeat a mantra that helps you regain some calm.

* Treat yourself daily to activities or things that make your happy, whether it's getting a massage, taking a walk with the dog, giving in to a chocolate craving.

* Try to connect each day with a friend, relative or someone important to you and have some meaningful interaction. Research shows that social supports helps people live longer, feel better, and cope with life easier.

* Take time each day to think about what you're grateful for. "It doesn't have to be a huge thing...it can be, I'm grateful the sun was shining today" or "I'm grateful to have been able to make a living today." It's about taking time and being in the moment.



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