Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Some Quick Ways to Relieve Stress

© Maureen Fleury

In my article dated September 21st, I reported the results of a survey on stress. It noted that working mothers experience very high stress levels. As mentioned in the same article, some of my future articles will deal with relieving stress.

In this article, I want to give you some ideas on some stress relievers that don't take much time or money. Let's face it, most of us don't have either! By the time we put in a full workday and tend to our families, we don't much time or energy to do a lot. Take a look and see if any of these ideas can be useful to you.

From Healthline Magazine http://www.healthline.org/articles/hl960...

"Stress can threaten your health and well-being. When you respond to situations with excessive amounts of anger, fear, frustration, resentment, or envy, you place a burden on your body that depletes energy, disrupts your immune system, and impairs cardiovascular health. When you moderate your responses, maintain a strong social support system, and develop healthy ways of coping with stress, you protect yourself from its damaging effects.

You can fight stress with techniques to help you relax and "take a break" from the hectic pace of life. These 10 steps can help you feel more relaxed, laid-back, and low-keyed, thus combating stress.

Take a catnap: A 10-minute nap virtually anywhere-at home, on the office floor, in the car (providing you're not driving of course!)-can be refreshing

Visualization: Take a quick "mental break" by envisioning a favorite place in your mind-whether it be the ocean, the mountains, or your own backyard. Concentrate on "seeing", "smelling" and "hearing" the things you imagine.

Massage: Close your eyes and use your fingertips to vigorously massage your forehead and the back of your neck. Rub in circles, and rub hard.

Breathing: Increased tension results in rapid, shallow breathing. For better relaxation, inhale slowly, hold your breath, and exhale slowly. Count to eight during each phase.

Abdominal breathing: Lie on the floor with your face up, body relaxed, and eyes closed. Exhale, blowing all the air out of your lungs, and push out your abdomen. Then pull in your abdomen, press down on it with your hand, and inhale deeply. Relax, letting the abdomen return to its normal position. Breathe normally for several minutes; then repeat the cycle.

Get out of the rut: Making up new ways to do old things can be a great reliever of both stress and boredom. Try taking different routes when driving to work, or change the way you do ordinary tasks such as putting on makeup, fixing your hair, or getting dressed.

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