3 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress, America's #1 health problem, is a leading cause of major illness. In fact, heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression are just some of the harmful effects of stress. Research has shown that releasing stress and learning how to relax promotes a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

Here are 3 easy ways to reduce your stress fast.

1. Breathe Deeply

Take 3 slow deep breaths. Taking the breath from your diaphragm, through your nose, holding for about 2 seconds and then slowly exhaling through your mouth. Why slow deep breaths? Because when we are under stress, we tense up, constricting the oxygen to our body. Taking slow deep breaths brings oxygen throughout our body resulting in feeling centered and releasing stress. Giving your body much needed oxygen will release tension and stress fast.

2. Meditate

The purpose of meditation is to relax and to release stress. Meditation allows the body to relax and permits a means to release the "chatter" in your mind. It is important for you to know that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Meditation is simply a form of concentration and focus; it is a process that quiets the mind. Since much of our negative stress is caused by our own thoughts, this is an especially useful method.

Here are steps for a popular, quick, and easy guided mediation:

1. Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes.

2. Take 3 deep breaths.

3. Visualize all the stress in your mind and body as a cloud of gray smoke. Allow this cloud to be released through the crown of your head. Imagine the gray cloud floating into the sky and disappearing. Feel the weight of the stress being releasing out of your body and into the cloud. Allow your shoulders to drop and continue until you have no more gray smoke or for about 10 minutes.

4. Imagine a healing white light that has surrounded your body. Feel the warmth of this light and allow it to infiltrate your body. Slowly open your eyes.

3. Try Hypnosis

This technique involves sitting comfortably with your eyes closed while listening to suggestions. Hypnosis is relaxation, focus, and suggestion. Using these three elements your mind and body will enter into a deeply relaxed state that gives you an overall sense of well being and tranquility. Hypnosis is one of the oldest and most natural modes of healing dating back to 1000 B.C. . In 1958 the American Medical Association approved the therapeutic use of hypnosis. This brought mainstream recognition that hypnotherapy was a valid and legitimate form of healing. During this time hypnotherapy was respected and accepted.

Meditation & Guided Imagery are techniques that use the natural power of the mind in creating what you want in life. Einstein estimated that we only use 10% of our brains. In practicing Meditation and Guided Imagery, we have access to the other 90%. Since thoughts are one of the most powerful possessions we can have, it is important to keep the thoughts and images positive. Meditation and Guided Imagery works because the Physical Universe is energy, this energy is vibrating at different speeds. Energy is magnetic causing similar thoughts to attract other similar thoughts. What we dwell on, we will attract. Thoughts and ideas are high vibrating forms of energy and are very powerful. Form then follows ideas. This is the reason that thoughts and ideas in Meditation and Guided Imagery particularly must be in a positive form.

Here are some steps to make Meditation and Hypnosis more effective.

1. Desire- You must have the desire to make a positive change in your life.

2. Belief- You must believe in the power of the mind.

3. Acceptance- You must accept the process of Meditation and Hypnotherapy including the results.

4. Set you goal- Decide on what you want and be committed to it.

5. Create a Clear Idea or Picture- Create the vision in your imagination and make it clear.

6. Focus on it often- Keep the images of your goal in your mind as often as possible.

7. Give it Positive Energy- Keep your frame of mind and thoughts positive.

8. Look For the Positive Changes- Look for the subtle ways Meditation and Hypnosis are changing your life, and believe in the magic of life!

Marla Sloane, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved © 2005

Marla Sloane, Ph.D. is a successful author and speaker. Her Positive Affirmation subscribers have reached world-wide proportions and her book: "The Masks We Wear and How to Live Without Them" is at the heart of her teleclasses; From Ordinary to Extraordinary?Unmask Your Potential; teaching individuals to remove limiting masks and labels. Marla has also produced Trilogy of Meditations for your Mind, Body and Spirit, which is distributing nationwide and in Europe. Dr. Marla Says?is a very popular Internet advice column giving answers to her reader's questions.

Marla has an extensive background in psychology and clinical hypnotherapy. She has written numerous articles about releasing stress, how to find your authentic self, and the importance of living in your truth.

You can contact Marla at: [email protected] You can visit her web site at: http://www.marlasloane.com

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