Atlanta, GA-In a press conference held today at CDC headquarters, Director Julie Louise Gerberding announced a new initiative for reducing the incidence of, and the ill effects resulting from, living with excessive levels of stress.
"Stress has long been known to both initiate and exacerbate medical conditions from asthma to herpes zoster, and everything in between," Gerberding explained. "But until now there hasn't been a focused and concerted effort to combat its ill effects."
Gerberding described a multi-tiered approach to decreasing stress levels, starting with some simple first steps. "Americans are overtired, overworked, and overstressed. The key to less stress is more time." According to Gerberding, there are a number of simple and effective ways to add precious minutes to our days that can be set aside for rest and relaxation:
1. Sitting in traffic consistently ranks high on the list of major stressors. Try to find ways of making the commute shorter. Speeding is an effective time saver. And studies show that for every car you block from entering the freeway in bumper to bumper traffic, you'll be able to spend an extra hundreth of a second unwinding at the end of the day.
2. Do what doctors do to save time and abbreviate everything. You'll not only have more "me" time but you'll be cooler to boot. So the next time you need to ask your best friend forever for a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich as soon as possible before your alcoholics anonymous meeting, remember this tip.
3. If adding abbreviations to your daily routine isn't doing the trick, try cutting out speaking entirely. Make postcards with common words and phrases that you can simply pass out to people during conversations. Or learn to read minds.
4. One of the biggest time drains that people participate in on a daily basis is basic hygiene. After just a few days of enjoying the extra time on your hands you gain from skipping that morning shower, you'll literally be able to smell the stress melting away.
5. Space age technology has led to many advancements in introducing sustenance into the human body. Taking advantage of these can shave minutes off of you day that can go towards stress reducing activities. Chewing is obsolete with today's modern portable IV nutrition systems, but these are bulky and add wind resistance. And experimental concentrated suppositories can be messy and uncomfortable. Just ask yourself what's more important, living a healthy stress free life or eating.