3 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

StressIf you Google “how to reduce stress” you’ll return about 18.4 million results. How do you know which articles to read? How do you know which things will work for you? Well, you won’t. Until you try some of them. Which is what I’ve done. I’ll share with you three things that I’ve found to work for me, and you’ll have yourself a short list to start with. Ready?

  1. Breathe.

    Some people wait until they need to take a break, take a deep breath, or count to ten. Try taking five deep breaths every morning before you walk out your door to leave for work. Five deep breaths before you walk in the door when you get home from work. Five deep breaths as your head hits the pillow. That’s 15 breaths a day. Every day. Try it for a week and see how it affects your stress level. When I remember to do this on a daily basis, I feel more relaxed. And when things go wrong (as things tend to do in life), I’m more able to go with the flow and not let those things bother me.

  2. Meditate.

    Meditating scares some people because they think they don’t know how to do it. But you do. Close your eyes. Start out with just thinking about a little black square or a little ball of light to help you focus on nothing at all. When your mind wanders to something more interesting, gently steer it back to the little black square or the ball of light. Don’t scold yourself, don’t judge yourself, just gently remind yourself: “little black square/little ball of light.” And if you have trouble visualizing either of these things, go back to breathing. Focus on five deep breaths, one at a time. The great thing about mediation is that you don’t need to do it for hours on end in order for it to be effective. Start out with a few minutes here and there, and see where it takes you. The key to meditation’s success? A little consistency goes a long way.

  3. Laugh.

    When things get rough, pop in your favorite comedy to send your stress level packing. Hang out with a friend who makes you laugh. Make a friend laugh. Share an embarrassing moment from your childhood. Not only does laughter distract you from whatever stresses you’re feeling, it also offers both physical and emotional relief from those same stresses. All that, and to boot, laughing actually boosts your immune system!

By doing these 3 simple things, you can reduce your stress level, boost your immune system, and enjoy the pieces of your life you’ve been missing because you’ve been so stressed! What have you got to lose?

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