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Time is becoming a rare commodity, particularly for people juggling between work
and home. While occasional stress is usually harmless, too much stress over long
periods of time can kill. The effects of long term stress should not be taken lightly.
Stress can lead to serious health problems such as hypertension, coronary heart disease,
and diabetes. Therefore, it is very important that you find time to relax, no matter
how busy you are.
The list of stress relieving activities/ideas below do not eat up a huge chunk of
your time; they are really easy to fit into busy schedules. All it takes is just
a few minutes a day to reduce stress and feel better right away.
What Can You Do to Relieve Stress?
1. Exercise is shown to have positive effects on stress management and can definitely
help to reduce stress greatly. You metabolize excess stress hormones during exercise,
and increase natural endorphins, which in turn help restore your body and mind to
a calmer, more relaxed state.
Exercise does not necessarily mean spending hours in the gym. For the purpose of
relaxation and stress reduction, gentle exercises such as walking, stretching, yoga,
mediation, breathing exercises, or physical activities you enjoy doing are good enough.
The idea here is to take your mind off the stress by shifting your attention to something
From my own experience, kickboxing is the best stress buster imaginable. When you
kick and punch, you are able to take out all your stress and frustrations within
minutes of starting a kickboxing session. Moreover, you also get the benefit of strengthening
your cardiovascular system while kicking and punching your problems away.
2. Many people I know find gardening very therapeutic as it helps them to connect
with the natural and provides a break from general rush of life.
In his studies, environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich suggests that even just looking
at a garden landscape or nature has numerous healthy psychological benefits including
helping people heal and recover faster.
For that reason, you can use your break time to take a short walk in a nearby park,
take in some fresh air and cast all your stress to the wind, or have your lunch on
the park bench.
3. Listening to relaxation music is another effective way to fight stress. Sounds
of nature such as ocean waves, gurgling streams, and singing birds produce a deep
and healing state of relaxation and in the process, beat stress and also promote
You can find nature sound CDs at Amazon or get free downloadable MP3 files online
to help you relax and soothe your tired soul.
4. Aromatherapy essential oils are known to have strong mood enhancing properties
that can be used to naturally reduce stress as well as to calm anxiety. Among the
best essential oils for stress are lavender, rose, geranium, neroli, marjoram, chamomile,
sandalwood, bergamot and lemon.
You can use up to 8 drops of essential oils in your bath water to relax tired muscles,
or in a diffuser to add a little aroma to your bedroom and enjoy the benefits of
There is a all natural stress relief remedy which you might be interested – Bach
Rescue Remedy, a safe and gentle product created from flower essences that can help
reduce unnecessary stress without any adverse side effects including addiction. Bach
Rescue Remedy has earned a huge fan base including celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston,
Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek and Martha Stewart.
5. Laughter is the best stress-relief medicine, and can instantly lighten any mood
you are in. A growing number of research shows that laughter sets off beneficial
chemical reactions in the body and brain – decreases stress levels along with a reduction
in heart blood pressure and cortisol levels. People who participated in laughter
sessions showed significantly lower stress levels just after 3 weeks and were better
able to cope with everyday stress.
So, play silly games with your young children, tickle them and make them laugh. Don't
forget laughter is highly contagious. If they are laughing like crazy, you will be
And, how else to make yourself laugh your heart out? Try watching a hilarious movie
(I watch “I Love Lucy” reruns), think of something humorous, think of anything that
makes you smile, talk to friends who has a good sense of humor, read jokes/poems/quotes
online, or even looking at a funny picture.
By Diane Hanson
Being a full-time working mom with 3 young kids, I hardly have time to myself and
relax. My job is mentally demanding and I'm feeling stressed out lately. I notice
my skin is more prone to acne breakout and I'm also losing more hair than normal.
What can I do to reduce stress? I don't want to use Valium to manage stress as I
heard that it's highly addictive. – Carole, Indiana.
Can't stay awake and having a hard time concentrating at work? Use the best tips
to awake your mind and re-energize your body naturally without caffeine. You're sure
to feel instantly refreshed for the rest of your work day!