One of the most common and easiest stress relievers is alcohol. While many gourmets happily choose a vintage Bordeaux to accompany a fine meal, or a wedding may call for a glass or two of champagne, most people consume alcohol after work either as a way to unwind or as a social lubricant. Excessive consumption, of course, can lead to health and, in many cases, domestic problems. Similarly, to many people regardless of age or income, legal and illegal drugs as well as cigarettes are an all too prevalent and dangerous way of dealing with stress in the short term.
Drinking and smoking to excess is not the only potentially harmful way of coping with stress. Many people also find relief in over-eating, trying to numb their anxiety with too much ice cream or smother it in cheese sauce.
That is not to say that the occasional drink is bad for you, nor is the odd cigar or slab of chocolate cake. Again, it is a question of moderation. If, at the end of a long day, a glass of decent Scotch or a good meal restores your equilibrium, go for it.
But there are more effective and more healthy methods for combating stress. One of the best ways is through meditation. Merrell suggests that his clients take two minutes to meditate by concentrating only on a single word during the most stressful time of the day--the morning, which, not coincidently, happens to be the same time of day that has the highest incidence of heart attacks.
"When you wake up, you're trying to solve the stresses of the dream stage and then subconsciously being bombarded with real worry," he says. That's why it's important to meditate. When you're literally sitting there with no conscious thought, it's a powerful, peaceful state to be in, because it doesn't happen during the day naturally."
Other doctors agree that meditation is a great way to combat daily stress, but also say learning any type of technique that relaxes the body and mind will reduce worry--which in the end, is the goal: learning to cope with stress by learning to manage the mind.
"One of the more common techniques I suggest is progressive relaxation," says Dr. Ernesto Randolfi, who runs a private business in stress-health promotion in Billings, Mont. "It involves contracting and relaxing muscles around your body so that people develop the ability to relax at will. It's a strategy that takes a lot of learning."
prom n. 正式舞会
a nodding acquaintance 点头之交
corner office 角落办公室（意指企业最高层人物的办公室）
aggravation n. 加重；恶化
cortisol n. 皮质醇；氰化可的松
immune system 免疫系统
gourmet n. 美食家，老饕
vintage adj. 古老的；最佳的
numb v. 麻痹
smother v. 抑制；隐藏
equilibrium n. 平衡；平静
meditation n. 沉思；冥想
subconsciously adv. 下意识地
bombard vt. 轰击，冲击；碰撞
contract v. 收缩