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3 Effective Ways to Naturally Relieve Stress

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                    “Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without”-Budda

In this chaotic and often disconnected western society, we are made to believe that stress and anxiety are a normal part of everyday life.

Unfortunately, these feelings of stress and anxiety start at a very young age.  Children pick up on the fear that saturates their home and outer world.  As a result, they stress about many things such as doing well in school, fitting in, and finding friends.

Like a heavy weight on their back, they carry this stress into adulthood.  As adults they worry about the house, the car(s), the bills, the lawn, the to-do list, and their job.

As parents they stress about whether the kids are eating right, sleeping right, and pooping right.  Are my kids playing with the “right” friends and are they going to do well in school?

Almost everything in life is perceived through the eyes of stress.  And like a family’s last name, it is passed down from generation to generation.

With all that said, I salute you for wanting to read this article.  There is something within you that knows you shouldn’t have to cope with this.  You’ve had enough.  You want to change.  You want to feel better.

The great news is that there are numerous ways to help you reduce and even eliminate stress from your life.

3 Highly Effective Ways to Release Yourself from the Grip of Anxiety

  1. Breathe

Just breathe.  How simple it is.

But, breathing is a powerful tool to help reduce stress.

If you think about it for a moment, breath is life.  It’s the first thing you do when you’re born and it’s the last thing you will do before you die.  It is what pronounces you dead or alive.

By using simple breathing techniques, you can effectively calm your body and your mind.

There are numerous breathing techniques available and I encourage you to look around and stick with the ones that work best for you.  One of my favorites that I practice regularly is called Calm Breathing.  It involves slow, smooth, and regular breaths.   It’s best if you’re sitting upright.  Shoulders relaxed.

  • Step 1. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose, breathing into your lower abdomen for 4 seconds
  • Step 2. Hold your breath for 2 seconds
  • Step 3. Exhale slowly through your mouth for 4 seconds
  • Step 4. Wait a few seconds before you take another breath
  • Step 5. Repeat this breathing cycle for up to 5 minutes

For best results, practice this breathing technique twice daily.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

You may have already heard the term “Mindfulness “.  It is gaining popularity on the western side of the world.  Some call it the “Mindfulness Movement”.

It has entered mainstream primarily because of the amazing work of Jon Kabat-Zinn.  He is the founder of the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program.  It is an 8 week program consisting of mindfulness meditation, yoga, and body awareness.  It effectively teaches you how to live in the present moment, instead of being consumed by the past or future.  As well, you learn to fully accept your current circumstances without judgment.

I’ve personally completed this program and benefited greatly from it.  In fact, I practice Mindfulness every day of my life.  Even my children have told me that I am more peaceful and happy since I finished the program.  Please check out this wiki page about MBSR for more information.

  1. Meditate

Meditate!  It is one of the best tools in the world to help you eliminate stress from your life.  I preach the benefits of meditation all over this blog!  It’s not mystical or weird and you don’t need to grow a beard, wear a robe, or live in a cave.  You just have to be still for a little while and center yourself.  And it can be done in the comfort of your own home.  If you practice meditation regularly, worry won’t consume you anymore.  Rather, you will feel calm and sure-footed, even during difficult life experiences.  For more information on meditation, please refer to my blog post Meditation 101.

Final Thoughts

It’s wonderful to see that you’ve taken the time to figure out ways to take care of yourself.  I really do hope that you try your best to incorporate these simple techniques into your everyday life.  It is my promise to you that if you do, you will feel calmer and happier. And, as an added bonus, you will spread your positive attitude to all your loved ones.

Photo credit: Image by Moyan Brenn via Flickr

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