5 Top Tips To Boost Your Spirits

1. Take a relaxing bath. Add music, candles and a glass of your favourite drink: beer, tea, hot chocolate, wine or even champagne. Close the door and forget about everything else for an hour or so. This helps to increase levels of calmness and the calmer we feel, the less likely we are to get stressed out or depressed.

2. Comedy night: get in your favourite nibbles: chips, tortillas, salsa, crackers, cheese, pizza, chocolate, cookies, ice cream etc. Crack open a bottle of wine or pour yourself a beer or two and spend a full evening watching your favourite funny films or comedians. Laughter raises our spirits and is a great antidote to the stresses and trials of modern living.

3. Get out of the firing line: Take off for some peace and quiet for a day or better still a weekend or a week. Take a journal, relax and gather your thoughts. When we're under pressure or struggling to cope with a major situation or event in life, seeing solutions to our problems can be really difficult. Distance from problems can bring clarity and relieve tension. I love going to the coast when I feel like this and it always, without fail, helps me to calm down and find solutions. I don't know why but there's something really soothing about being near the ocean. Being near water, come to think of it.

4. Increase calmness and feel great by indulging in massage. Share a massage with your partner ? create a relaxing atmosphere by softening the lights and have oils and towels to hand. Lavender oil is particularly relaxing. Or, treat yourself to a massage from a professional masseur or masseuse. For a really invigorating massage, visit a Turkish baths if you're fortunate enough to have one nearby. Massage is very relaxing and increases intimacy between lovers. It's one huge stress buster as well but be warned, it's addictive! Not a bad thing to be addicted to though, and it will do you no end of good.

5. Spend a week without watching any television. Television can fill your mind with negativity, bombard you with image manipulation via commercials and give you a distorted view of reality by showing you everything that's bad about the world. Famines, disasters, murders, violence, war ? the list is endless ? and news programmes and soap operas are full of such events. So give your mind a break from this assault on your senses. Abandon the television for a week and do something more rewarding instead: Read a book, listen to music, socialize, workout, go for a walk or try your hand at something new. If you need to hear the news, listen to a radio news bulletin once a day. But try and avoid them for one week, replace them with something more life enhancing and see how you feel.

The above ideas are very simple to implement but they are also very effective in helping to relieve stress and tension. Give them a try and watch your mood levels rise!

Until next time.

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