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10 Ways to Help Relieve Stress

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you need help controlling your stress? If so, here are some ways that have helped me improve my stress.

1) Give breathing exercises a try. First, turn on some relaxing music. Then sit in a comfortable chair or lay down on a couch. Close your eyes. Shake your arms and legs to loosen them.

Relax. Breathe in through your nose, hold it for a second, and slowly exhale through your mouth. Let the tension melt away from your muscles. Focus on your breathing, not on your problems. Do this at least ten times. If you have medical problems see your doctor first before doing this breathing exercise.

2) Go for a quiet walk and do breathing exercises (same as above but with eyes open) to calm you.

3) If you're able and in good health, try physical excursion to relief stress. Take up running, kick-boxing, tennis, dance, racquetball, aerobics, etc. If I feel really stressed, quick physical movements which I have to focus on helps.

4) Take up tai chi or yoga. If you've tried yoga before and didn't like it, I've been there. I don't like slow yoga with strange positions that are uncomfortable. But there are different kinds of yoga classes. I found a yoga class I like.

It's more of a regular girl stretching class with breathing exercises. If you have a medical condition you should talk to your doctor before picking a sport or physical activity to do.

5) If you are limited in mobility as far as sports and don't want to try yoga or tai chi, take up a hobby. Knitting, playing the flute, etc. Even planting flowers or doing dishes can help. The point is to get your mind off the problem that is stressing you and focus on something else.

6) Watch funny movies which make you laugh. Or read a funny book.

7) Get a massage to relax your muscles. Just make sure you get a masseuse that doesn't make tense necks or backs worse. Get a recommendation.

8) Take a relaxing bath. I do deep breathing in the bath to combat stress.

9) Try visualization. Before bed or during a quiet moment sit back with closed eyes. Visualize yourself in a beautiful place, like on a quiet beach. Smile. Feel your stress melt away. If it won't, visualize yourself having fun. Having a picnic. Throwing a ball to your dog. Give your mind a break from thinking about problems.

10) Try meditation. You can get a book on it or take a class. Depending on where you live there could be a variety of classes offered. If you have tried meditation and find it hard, you're not alone. My mind has a hard time being still.

I think about how I have laundry to wash, which makes me think about how my stinky dog needs a good wash, which leads me to think how I need to buy her dog food, etc. That's why I listed 10 ways to help with stress and not just one.

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