How To Relax

Stress has negative consequences to both your health and your relationships. The way to stay healthy and happy is to learn how to relax.


1.Make healthy food choices. Sugar and caffeine are your enemies, as they both cause severe ups and downs, upsetting your body's ability to regulate energy. Instead of sugary, carbohydrate loaded snacks (like cookies or granola bars), eat fresh fruits and whole grain breads or crackers (sugar-free). Make sure you get plenty of low-calorie protein, like that found in chicken, fish, whole grains, beans, dark leafy vegetables, or low-fat dairy.

2.Find a quiet place when you are feeling overwhelmed. Even the stall of a bathroom will work if you have no other place to go.

3.Close your eyes and picture your own personal paradise. Put yourself there and imagine the setting. What do you see around you? Is there a breeze? What do you hear--birds? Waves? Water? Imagine yourself thoroughly enjoying every moment here in your special place.

4.Breathe. Inhale deeply, counting to five, then exhale slowly, counting to five. Do this ten times.

5.Relax in bed. Take a bath, play soft music, and lay down in bed. Read a book and clear your mind of all the stress and rush of the day.

6.Avoid people who are constantly angry or complain. Stress can be contagious, so avoid transmitters.

7.Stop engaging in behaviors that make you feel guilty. Seek help from a professional if necessary, but don't allow destructive behavior to sabotage your life and your health. Guilt is a potent source of stress, so get rid of the source of guilt by behaving yourself.

8.Exercise every day. You don't need to work out like a body builder or celebrity. At least twenty minutes (or more, if you like) every day of moderate activity, like walking or bike-riding, is the best known, scientifically proven way to significantly reduce stress. Walk on a treadmill every day for twenty minutes, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park a little further away from the entrance to stores. You will be amazed at how much easier you overcome stress when you exercise regularly.

9.Learn to prioritize. Make a list of tasks you must accomplish that day. Put the most important things at the top and list every task in descending order of importance. Learn to be proactive and take care of things before they become a problem, then your time will be more productive and you will feel less stress.

10.Draw a warm bath, light candles around your tub, dim the lights, add bubbles, lavender, or just keep the water plain.

11.You can curl up on your couch with a blanket, and a good book, maybe even a cup of tea or cocoa.

12.Do yoga; it relaxes your body, and helps clear your mind.

13.Go to your local spa for a great massage. You will feel so great afterwards.

14.Lay on your bed or sofa, have some soft music playing in the background (or nature Cd's) and listen to ocean waves, waterfalls, or birds. Some new age music is very relaxing (such as Enya)

15.Go for a walk. If you live near a park with a fountain, or near a beach or lake, the calming sound of water will soothe you. Just a regular walk will also relax you.

16.If you can, go swimming, either at your local pool, a friend or relatives home, or in a lake. Swimming is great for reducing stress.

17.Do the activities or hobbies that relax you (fishing, sewing, singing, painting, taking photographs), whatever it is that keeps your mind off the things that normally stress you out, or things that you just need a break from every now and then.

18.It might sound cheesy, but hang out with your pet (like your dog, cat, bird, etc). Talk to your pet about all the stress and anxiety you've been going through and you'll feel a lot better. Or just cuddle or play with your pet. They'll love it and so will you.

19.Think positively.

20.Practice meditation-try to remove all thoughts and emotions other than your controlled breathing from your mind. It's really really hard and why some buddhist monks practice it their whole life. However it can be very rewarding.


• Drink tea instead of coffee.
• Smile and laugh. Laughing releases endorphins, which fight stress, help you relax, and remind you that life is about more than work. Make it a point to smile more, even if it feels strange at first.
• When you first start cutting excess sugar from your diet you will crave it terribly. Be strong! After a couple of days the cravings will subside and you will notice (already) how much better you feel.
• Take a multi-vitamin; some vitamins help relieve stress.
• Lower your shoulders to help relax.


• Avoid toxic people! People who try to guilt you into doing things, or tell you you're not good enough, are people you should spend minimal time with (yes, even if they are family). Your life and health are YOUR responsibility.
• If stress is causing serious problems such as headaches or other symptoms, seek help from a doctor.
• Millions of people become unknowingly addicted to drugs and alcohol during times of severe stress. Be the strong person that you are and do not let this happen. One of the hardest parts of dealing with stress is recognizing and avoiding temptation.

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