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Instant Stress Relief -- 7 quick tips to relax the mind and body

Stress is part of our everyday lives. We cannot hide from it, we cannot escape it, but we can reduce its effects to a minimum. Here are 7 tips you can use to produce INSTANT STRESS RELIEF in just a few minutes. Practice them whenever you need them and even when you don't.

Before we get started, someone far wiser than I once said, "when you are too busy to take a break, that is when you most need to take a break." I believe these are sage words that have been echoed in many ways by not only the greatest minds but also from those whom accomplished the most. Let us all vow to take at a break -- for only 3-5 minutes at a time -- at least a couple times a day to practice these simple techniques that will not only relieve our tension and troubles, but yield a fresh mind and greater energy and productivity. Certainly, we can all spare a few minutes a day, right?

For each of the 7 tips, we will have a complete and thorough treatment for you in our Stress Relief Guide and future articles, but the basics are enough to find relief right now. Here goes.

Learn to Breathe

Breathing exercises are an ideal way to relieve stress. You can learn the technique easily, plus anyone can do them anywhere. You can even use popular products to train you. Without a doubt, breathing control, along with mindfulness are our top stress relieving tools. Here’s how basic controlled breathing works:

  1. Find a comfortable, relaxed position. You can sit or stand. Try to make sure that your lower abdomen 'feels free' to move.
  2. Slowly inhale through your nose, counting to four in your head.
  3. Briefly Hold the breath, then let the air out throughyour mouth, emptying your lungs from the diaphragm for a count of eight
  4. Repeat for 3-5 minutes. That is all there is to this most important technique!

Simple Exercise

A body in motion will put to rest emotion. If you are feeling angry, depressed or stress of any kind, just simple exercise will put the forces of human nature to work for you to release your troubles. You have many options, the simplest of which are breathing exercises, the next would be easy, light stretching or a walk around for a few minutes. In just 5 or 10 minutes you can have the flow of your body working for you to relieve your muscle tension, release anger, pump up your endorphins and start feeling good. Any exercise, any effort is good effort.

Progressive Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation teaches you to relax your muscles through a two-step process. First you deliberately apply tension to certain muscle groups, and then you stop the tension and turn your attention to noticing how the muscles relax as the tension flows away. Through repetitive practice you quickly learn to recognize—and distinguish—the associated feelings of a tensed muscle and a completely relaxed muscle. With this simple knowledge, you can then induce physical muscular relaxation at the first signs of the tension that accompanies anxiety. And with physical relaxation comes mental calmness—in any situation.

Meditation

Meditation comes in many forms, today it is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. Anyone can practice meditation. It is simple, free or inexpensive, and doesn't require special equipment. And you can practice meditation wherever you are — even if only for a couple minutes. There are various forms of meditation. Today, we will focus on Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. Focus on the flow of your breath. Just observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment. By observing and allowing your stress to flow through and out of you, one can achieve relief. Briefly, here is how you can use this technique.

  1. Begin by tensing all the muscles in your face. Make it tight, close your eyes as hard as you can, clench your jaw, and try to mentally and physically pull all the skin from head, to ears to chin tight. Hold this for the count of eight as you inhale.
  2. Now relax as you slowly exhale. Feel the tension release as you completely let you muscles go lax. Let yourself become immersed in a relaxed, comforting warmth. Enjoy this feeling.
  3. Next, do the same with your neck and shoulders, again inhaling and counting to eight. Then exhale and relax.
  4. For maximum relaxation, continue down your body, from shoulders to torso and finally to your legs and feet.

Listen to the right Music

Music therapy has shown numerous health benefits for people with conditions ranging from mild (like stress) to severe (like cancer). When dealing with stress, the right music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body and calm your mind. Here are some suggestions of different types of music to listen to, and how to use music in your daily life for effective stress management. For your benefit, we provide free to our members a selection of downloadable relaxation music that you can copy to listen to at home, at work or on the road. Just go to our homepage and sign in to our free member benefits and you will be taken to the download page

De-Clutter and Get Organized

Clutter and disorganization not only impedes our performance, but it has been proven to create stress. Not just stress from having to waste time searching for a misplaced item in a time of need, but just the general clutter in an office or bedroom can cause stress or poor sleep. Give yourself a well needed 'quick clean up' break of 3-5 minutes to clear out and clean up some space around you. Your mind's eye will thank you. Just trying it and see! And, you will benefit from a few minutes of getting yourself in action as well as that feeling of accomplishment. It will be a 3 way win when you take a break to de-clutter.

Train your mind to Think Solution, not problem

What is learned stress? Can we actually train our brain to find stress out of nowhere? Well, the answer is yes. And, yes, you are RIGHT! Then the opposite is true. We can re-train ourselves with simple techniques to overcome any stressful situation. Just remember this as the first step to overcoming anxiety -- over 90% of what we worry about never happens! It is a proven fact. So, create a positive mindset. For 3-5 minutes, just sit down and write out the best possible outcomes for whatever is bothering you the most. Then write down 3 things that you can do to deal with the issue. Then commit yourself to do it. Write this 3 times. That will get your mind set in motion creating a positive force that will eliminate that 90%+ of unnecessary, unfounded worry that is weighing you down.