Stressed? Relax Right Now with 5 Super-Simple Stress-Busters

Stressed? Relax Right Now with 5 Super-Simple Stress-Busters

Stressed-out? Don't know which way to turn? Then, check out these five simple steps for instant sanity. They're quick and effective. And best of all, you can do at least one of them right now, right where you are, in the comfort of your own home or cubicle.

(1.) Breathe: Often and always, of course. But also DEEP-ly. Feel the air filling your lungs and expanding your ribcage and belly. As you breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, offer thanks to the very air you take for granted. Reflect for a moment on how it offers life-giving oxygen with every inhale and removes life-depleting toxins with every exhale.

Expand your exhale into a lengthy sigh. Let your shoulders hang loose and slump down your whole body into one long unbroken outbreath. Sense the sigh-starting from the top of your head and rippling down to the tips of your toes, as you softly whisper "Ahhhhhh. . . ".

Yaaaaawn. When tense, you tend to take short, shallow, and sporadic breaths. Less oxygen goes the brain and body, and they can't function at their peak, which doesn't do any body any good. A long, relaxing yaaaaawn will bring revitalizing oxygen to the where you need it most.

(2.) Count to 10: Forward or backwards, out loud or to yourself. Either way, the point is to count s-l-o-w-l-y. Add a word between each number. For example, say "10. . . hippopatumus," "9 . . . hippopatumus," and so on. By the end of your countdown, you'll be feeling more cool, calm, and collected-ready once again to launch into your next activity.

(3.) Look to the East: Try a little yoga. You don't have to get out of your chair. Just push back from your desk. No time for even that? No worries. Try this quickie to relax and revive your eyes: Rub your palms together briskly to build up some heat, then cover your eyes with your palms (no peeking-it should be dark as night in there). This imparts energy to the eyes and also helps them rest. Desk workers also typically build up strain in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. Yoga can untie those knots. For a refreshing 7-minute yoga video you can do at your desk, go to _primers/yoga_at_desk/yoga_vid_hi.html.

(4.) Eat: No, this doesn't mean gorging yourself on gobs of greasy fast food, which often is a response to stress. Treat yourself to a new kind of lunch. Think of the daily noontime ritual as a chance for you to unwind, to take a few quiet moments to re-group and de-stress. Head out on your own to refresh and recharge. You can do this at home, too. (Remember, turn off the TV, the radio, and the phones.) Sit down, get comfy, and savor the flavors, textures, and aromas of every morsel of your meal. Eat 'mindfully' and chew each bite at least 50 times. You'll digest better, which in turn means your body will more easily turn that food into energy to nourish and strengthen your overall system. Mindful eating also helps avoid heartburn and indigestion. Another big plus? You're likely to eat less-and that's a bonus if you want to slim down.

(5.) Take a hike: Just walk away. Right out the door. Don't worry, your problems will still be there when you return. Of course, dress for the weather before you hop out the door, and don't leave crying babies or boiling pots behind. You can get away from it all-for at least a few minutes-and return refreshed and rejuvenated, with a renewed outlook on life. While you're out and about, look around and appreciate the sights and sounds around you-the sun, the sky, and the clouds. Be happy for what you have, like the ability to get out and take a walk. A little gratitude goes a long way. Pick up the pace. 'Power-walking' can quickly work out the kinks. A spin around the block helps you feel less frazzled, and will put the razzle back in your dazzle.

Each of these five stress-busters takes away your jitters by taking your mind off what's bugging it. So, why not try one or two of these simple yet powerful de-stressers right now? And, remember, relax.


P J Smith is the motivational word wizard in residence at For more than two decades, she's been motivated to write and writing to motivate. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines, and seen on public television. She's a student of psychology, Reconnective Therapy, Flower of Life -- and life. Let P J inspire and inform your audience. Find out more at

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