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Life is stressful. No one can deny that every now and then even the little problems in life seem like too much to handle. While you can't get rid of stress, you can limit its effect on you. Simple tools that you can use anytime, anywhere can help put things in perspective and give you the calm you need to carry on. You don't need to be a yoga expert or spend weeks at a meditation retreat to use these relaxation techniques. Grab a cup of hot tea and try some of the following strategies to help you deal with every day stress.
There are many different kinds of meditation and some people spend years studying a particular form. However, simple meditation can be done by anyone with absolutely no training. Meditation involves using a repetitive thought, sound or movement to keep your mind focused away from its usual business. Choose a word to repeat and stay focused on that word. If you find your mind wandering off to solve the day's problems, simply bring yourself back to your chosen word. You can also do a walking meditation around the house, in your office or outside. Focus on how your foot hits the ground and concentrate on your movement. The focus on the physical will help clear your mind and provide welcome stress relief.
This technique uses imagery to draw the mind away from every day worries to a place that brings you calm and quiet. Picture a place in your mind that you associate with peace or happiness. Pick a favorite vacation spot or an imaginary location. It can be a forest meadow, a quiet beach at sunset or the view from the top of a skyscraper. You can close your eyes for this exercise or you can keep your eyes open. Simply hold this image in your mind and conjure up the details of the place. Recall the warm breeze, the scent in the air and try to stay focused on the image for five minutes. You will feel as if you have been on a mini vacation.
This is one of the quickest, easiest ways to bring calm to your day. It takes only a moment and can be done during a meeting, while driving or any time you remember to try it. Taking a few minutes to slow your breath can make a marked difference in how you feel during the day. Inhale deeply and then let out a huge sigh, emptying your lungs. Inhale again slowly, letting your shoulders rise and fall. Exhale, letting your chest and stomach relax as the breath leaves your body. Focus on the feeling of the air filling and then leaving your lungs. Repeat 10 times.
If don't have the time or money for a professional massage, you can still be kind to yourself. Take a few minutes for self massage. Use your hands to squeeze the muscles between your neck and shoulders. Massage the muscles in your forearm on one side and then switch sides to massage the other forearm. Use your thumb to massage the palm or your opposite hand. Give special attention to the area between your thumb and forefinger.
Hug A Friend
Affection and contact with either a friendly human or a pet can immediately bring down stress levels. A quick hug, a petting session with Rover or even a calling a friend are all ways to break the stranglehold that stress can have on your day.
Lowering stress levels can have many health benefits including a lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, better blood flow and improved concentration. If you suffer from chronic sleeplessness, heart palpitations or other symptoms of extreme stress, see your medical professional for advice.