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You?d be hard-pressed to find an oncologist?s waiting room not brimming with illness-related stress. People often arrive already deeply frustrated by previous attempts at diagnosis and care, presenting overtaxed systems ravaged by stress, sleeplessness, and pain. Paradigm-shifting work is underway examining the relationships between emotions and health, transmitters, peptides; suggesting that emotions reside not only in our heads, but in fact at a cellular level. Endorphins ? morphine-like substances produced naturally in the body-mind ? attach to receptor sites and relay ?stop-pain? messages, sometimes easing anxiety, lifting depression, lightening mood as well.

?Feel-Good? activities, and finding humor in exasperating circumstances, are drug-free ways to reduce pain and stress, enhancing overall well-being. Life can be very difficult, and brings extraordinary challenges to many. But some stress is influenced by perspective. How we experience an event determines its ?stress value? for us. A positive outlook, humor, gentle touch, and honest, supportive relationships all increase the ?Feel-Good? factor.

I wish you all those things and above all, Hope. Hope is what sees us through our most challenging moments, and reminds us of the promise that just may be around the very next corner! s

Note: Susie Mantell is an award-winning stress-relief facilitator and author of ?Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace? (CD/Cassette). To subscribe to Susie's free e-mail Stress-Tips, please visit www.relaxintuit.com.

  1. Stress Happens. Every Day.
  2. Life is always about choices...even when it doesn't feel that way.
  3. Mind informs Body. Stress impacts our health, relationships...and who we will become.
  4. How we manage stress determines the quality of our lives.
  5. Every action stems from one of two roots: Love...or Fear.
  6. "The Golden Rule" is still a very good idea.
  7. One smile can turn two people's entire day around.
  8. Love Heals. So do Laughter and Forgivemess. Anger never will.
  9. To love anything requires a leap of faith ?in ourselves, others, and the power of Love itself.
  10. We can spend a lifetime grieving what was, or what never was...or living for what is, or can be.
  11. We're never too old to learn or change.
  12. We grow toward the light...or wither on the vine.