Tuesday, November 24, 2009

6 Quick Ways to Relieve Stress

The holiday season is officially ON!

The stores are decorated and playing holiday music. The malls have already had their tree lighting ceremonies and Santa is set up for his yearly visits.

Just the thought of this makes many people's shoulders raise, upper lips stiffen, and defensive driving techniques are cast to the wind. Many people reach for another latte, another cigarette, another cocktail, or another bag of cookies --- only to feel worse on the flip side.

When we fail to properly deal with our stress, we can become irritable, we can experience mood and appetite changes, fatigue, sleeping issues, skin disruptions and depletion of the immune function. The longer we ignore stress, the more our chances increase to create more serious health issues.

It's important, easy and natural to learn to self-treat to prevent disease.

These 6 methods of relieving stress will help you stay happy and healthy through the holidays and other challenging times:

1. Restorative Yoga - Taking time to experience the rest and calm that come from this healing practice including a series of simple stretches and proper cleansing breath is one way to reduce your stress levels, improving your overall health and well-being. Just about anyone can practice Restorative Yoga.

2. Focused/Connective Breath Technique - This can be used to assist with any anxiety-related issue. Designed to take you through the 'letting go' process, each time the steps are repeated with the right attitude, old perceptions, thought and feelings are released from the cells.

3. Soak in the Bath - Few things are more relaxing than soaking in a tub of warm water. Use dead sea salts and essential oils to turn your soak into a skin-softening, stress-relieving, home spa experience.

4. Use a Stillpoint - You can interrupt your body's stress cycle instantly with a stillpoint, which originates from osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. To find your stillpoint:
• Lay on a flat, comfortable surface on your back. Place both hands palms up under your head with your middle fingerstips touching each other. Your hands must be at the place where your head is most protruding (sticks out the furthest).
• Slowly slide your hands apart toward the outer edges of your head and stop where your head begins to 'turn the corner'.
• You will notice that the gentle pressure of your head resting on your middle fingertips at these specific points creates instant relaxation. The longer you remain here, the more your relaxation will deepen into absolute calm. You have found your stillpoint.

5. Step away from the computer - Job stress is almost inevitable, so it's more important than ever to learn to optimize your ability to think clearly and shift your panic to calm in an instant.
• Focus on an image of something that gives you the feeling of being in awe; a sunset, picture someone you love, recall a memory. Hold this image for as long as you wish.
• Close your eyes and gaze at your hands on your lap as you silently count to four. Take a little pause and then exhale, counting down from four. Repeat at least 10 times.
• Imagine the sun is shining golden light upon you, creating a golden shield that holds and comforts you. Imagine the faces of those who love you as your shield. Hold this image as long as you wish.
• Think of something funny or watch something funny on the internet. Allow yourself to laugh out loud for several minutes. It always helps to take life less seriously, even for a few minutes.

6. Enjoy a day at the Spa - Pamper yourself with some effective stress-relief by scheduling a day-- or a week --- at a spa.

Happy, stress-free Holidays!

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