Womens Styled Outfits

WALK IN THEIRSHOES

It s easy to pinpoint annoying traits, but empathising can be the starting point for a different dynamic. If you understand that your sister is negative because she’s a worrier, or your uncle dominates the dinner party because he’s often lonely, you might find you automatically feel less irritated by their actions.

STAY CALM

Worried embracing all that stress will send your blood pressure sky high? It might actually do your body good, according to research by the University of California. The study found that short surges of moderate stress may benefit brain function and even make you physically healthier by inoculating you with a kind of‘stress vaccine’ as long as you take time to recover from the pressure. That means you should still employ all your trusty tension-defusing tricks such as meditation, a bubble bath or a low-keyyoga class. And hey, knowing that the stressyou re experiencing has a silver lining may even help you relax faster.

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Keep cool when it’s cray

The festive season comes with its own particular brand of stress: namely, the family member who winds you up or the unreasonable, demanding boss. Add in late nights, tight deadlines and a crammed social diary and you’ve got a recipe for a meltdown. Not this year! Use these tips to stay calm when difficult people strike…

LISTEN UP

Having a tough conversation? “Show that you’re listening by using non-verbal communication such as making eye contact or nodding your head,” says Gill Hasson, author of Dealing with Difficult People (Wiley, $24.95). “These signals let the other person know you’re listening. Also, reflect what they’re saying, checking you’ve understood. This can help the other person consider what they’re saying and they may clarify it.”

SPEAK CLEARLY

You might want to storm out of the room when your mum criticises your outfit, but it’s important to stand your ground and be assertive, not aggressive, says Hasson.

“It might encourage them to be more open and both of you to develop understanding, trust and cooperation,” she says. The other person probably has no idea what’s upset you. Tell them clearly and explain how it made you feel.

So you could tell your mum, “Yesterday you told me in front of the family that my skirt was too short and I felt embarrassed.” Acknowledge your part – for example, “I know I’m a little sensitive about my appearance” – then explain what you want to happen next: “Please can I ask you not to criticise me in front of others?” Good luck!

HEAD

Got a pain in your brain? Use our guide to find out where the ache is coming from – and how to send it packing

THE BRAIN CAN DOSOME AMAZING THINGS, but inflicting pain is not our favourite of its many functions. Actually, it’s not your noggin’s fault. The brain itself doesn’t feel pain – it’s the many nerve fibres attached to the covering membrane and blood vessels that create headache. And pinpointing what’s causing the discomfort can be a puzzle of mind-bending proportions! From the food you eat to the way you hold your phone, there’s a whole rangeof sneaky headache triggers. If you suffer from brain pain, your best line of defence is to get wise to what kind you’re experiencing and the likely culprit so you can (ahem) head it off before it hits…

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