6 Relaxation Techniques for Your Biggest Stress Triggers


By: , – Sara Reistad-Long, Woman's Day
  :  13 comments   :  13,261 Views

Your son can't find his backpack (again) and your husband still hasn't fixed the leaky toilet (three weeks later). Stress is everywhere—and though you may not be able to control what causes it, you do have power over how you react to it. And keeping your cool is a key to safeguarding your heart.

"Stress sets off a surge of hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, in your body," explains WD heart health expert Michelle Albert, MD. "Elevated levels of these hormones can harm your heart because they raise your blood pressure and cause inflammation." So it's important to develop ways to cope when life becomes tense. Keep clicking for six speedy strategies that'll calm you down. 

Take a deep breath
Pausing before you react in a stressful or upsetting situation gives you time to clear your head, and breathing more slowly lowers levels of fight-or-flight hormones. Count to 10 and take three deep breaths before responding.
Smile big!
New research shows that "grin and bear it" works. One study found that people who smiled as they did difficult tasks (such as drawing with their nondominant hand) had lower heart rates than people who kept a neutral expression.

Hold your chin up
It sounds so simple, but when your head is lifted and your shoulders are down, your chest expands and you naturally take in more oxygen, which helps calm your body's physical and emotional response to stress.

Click here for more stress management tips from Woman's Day.

More from Woman's Day:
What helps you relax when you face stress?

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    I find ASMR and Whisper videos are the ultimate in relaxation. - 9/23/2013   1:24:48 PM
    hello - 7/16/2013   9:26:24 PM
  • 11
    I echo the advice to "get a plumber". In my 'pre-retirement' years, I would find myself with a "honey-do" list that drove me crazy and was as stressful as anything I did. I found that by admitting I didn't know a darn thing about plumbing and hiring a professional made my "honey" a lot happier.

    Everyone knows if "Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy".

    I can do rough-in carpentry, lay cement and brick up walls, terrace a garden and in most things electronic, I can complete a project if I have a written "how to" guide.

    If you can't afford a plumber, I bet you know at least one guy in your circle of friends who can fix a car engine, have parts left over and you still get better gas mileage. A few beers and some grilled hamburgers (don't yell at me about "healthy", things like THIS are an emergency and require emergency measures!). My youngest son is my "go to guy". He inherited both of his grandfathers ability to look at a problem, recognize the problem, know what parts he needs (instinctively), and fix the problem. That's why he runs a very successful roofing, siding, guttering, exterior doors, garage door and replacement windows company.

    If you don't have a friend like that, find one! - 5/15/2013   5:39:18 PM
  • 10
    I love the quote "THIS TO SHALL PASS". Get a PLUMBER to fix the leaky toilet and don't put up with waiting on a husband to fix something that doesn't get fixed. - 5/15/2013   5:21:15 PM
    Good suggestions. Who doesn't have unwanted stress! I will try some of these techniques for sure. - 5/14/2013   1:26:43 PM
  • 8
    I remember this from the show The Honeymooner's

    Pins and Needles
    Needles and Pins
    A Happy Man
    Is A Man That Grins!

    Michael Jackson's favorite song, was called "Just Smile" - 5/14/2013   11:28:03 AM
  • 7
    Great advice! After all, every little bit helps. Smile! - 5/13/2013   10:59:26 PM
    good read- especially on a Monday after a stressful workday! - 5/13/2013   7:09:46 PM
    I was always told to watch a funny mvie to make you laugh. Always smile and laugh it's good for your health. - 5/13/2013   11:25:52 AM
  • 4
    Smiles, laughter, and deep breaths really do make anger and stress go away! - 5/13/2013   10:10:53 AM
  • 3
    Chin up! was something my Mom used to say. Wait til I tell her that it seems to work physiologically. - 5/13/2013   8:59:03 AM
    How easy! - 5/13/2013   8:10:54 AM
    So that whole "count to 10" before you respond when you're upset is actually based on fact . . . cool! - 5/13/2013   6:48:24 AM

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