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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Rest & Relaxation

Now & Zen: Easy Relaxation Techniques

A Calmer, Healthier You is Within Reach

-- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer
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You can also visualize the stress flowing out of your body or running off your back like water. This imagery is particularly useful at work if you don’t have much privacy. Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee the next time your boss changes a deadline on you, picture the stress flowing peacefully out of your body from your head to your toes and start smiling.

Meditation is the conscious act of focusing on one thought, object, or word. This deliberate focus occupies your mind and diverts your attention away from the problems that are causing you stress. Many people who meditate claim that it helps boost their creativity and ability to solve problems by allowing subconscious thoughts to arise to conscious awareness. But meditation isn’t far out or mystical. Like deep breathing, you can do it anywhere and without specialized training.

Sit comfortably, close your eyes and relax your body, concentrating on breathing rhythmically. Feel your breath and focus on each breath you take. Thoughts will come to mind, but just let them pass without giving them any attention. You can also focus your attention on a phrase, such as a positive affirmation, an object, such as a candle flame, or a comforting word like "calm." Try clearing your mind for 10 minutes in the morning and again before you go to sleep, gradually increasing the amount of time you meditate each day.

Relaxing music and sounds can help you clear your mind after a busy day. Whether you listen to tapes, CDs, MP3 downloads or Podcasts, you can find a recording that will help you fall asleep easier, meditate, beat stress, and more. Many stores sell relaxation CDs, which may contain music, nature sounds, or guided meditations.

While most people can handle short-term stress with few difficulties, ongoing stress can suck the joy out of life. By dealing with problems in a positive way, you will be able to maintain your healthy lifestyle even when life is throwing you curveballs. Who needs chocolate when peace of mind is just one thought away?
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • VAINVT
    I've always loved yoga as a way to relax. To me, it is meditative. - 1/13/2014 8:51:47 AM
  • I...still need chocolate. Well. I want it, anyway. ^_~ But these are fantastic ideas, and I will definitely put them to use! - 8/26/2013 9:12:50 PM
  • Great article. Thank you - 8/4/2013 5:20:27 PM
  • Who doesn't have stress? I know I do! I have been trying deep breathing. Also I think that stretching helps. In the car on the way to work and when I get to work I practice deep breathing. When I get to work I do an upper body stretch. This helps me start my day off in a relaxed manner. Also, I am not sure if I believe in aromatherapy, but I do use a hand cream that supposedly promotes stress relief. And of course, exercise - I go for a walk every day at lunch to clear my mind. Also, getting enough sleep helps too! - 5/6/2013 8:32:10 AM
  • These are all wonderful suggestions. I really like the idea of imagining stress sliding off the back like water. Imagery can be a very effective. - 4/9/2013 9:55:35 PM
  • CHERYL20121
    Thank you for such a wonderful article. All these tips will be very useful to me. Bless you. - 5/7/2012 2:46:00 AM
  • GUILDWARSGIRL
    Great article ! I use many of these techniques daily .Thanks for sharing . - 3/11/2011 3:26:51 PM
  • For me, this sentence is so funny and ironic: "Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to escape to a tropical island at the drop of a hat, learning how to deal with stress in a positive way is more important than ever." I guess I would have to escape to another island.
    I live in a tropical island and it seems everybody is always stressed out. However, the tips in the article are very useful. - 5/5/2010 1:07:59 PM
  • I have been doing mental imagery when I bike on the local Rails to Trails. I find it like stepping into a time machine, and I can almost hear the chucg of the traiins that one were there, hear the ghostly whistle as they round the bend. I read the article on Walking Meditation....I do Biking Meditation. I also practice deep, diaphramatic breathing to drift off to sleep. - 1/18/2010 9:05:58 AM
  • SUSHAH
    This was a good article with very helpful information. I have been using these techniques for several years, and find them to be extremely beneficial. - 12/26/2009 7:33:35 AM
  • Great article! I have been practicing most of these for years and found them to be extremely useful tools! - 3/10/2009 5:37:39 AM
  • CINTURITADE
    A very usefull article. Thank you. - 1/18/2009 7:15:12 PM
  • Great article. - 1/3/2008 1:23:15 PM
  • BUSBYBOTTOM
    A very helpful article especially on how to de-stress. - 11/23/2007 12:21:12 PM
  • this article is filled with so many simple and easy ways to relax. i have already started to put them into practice and they are such a big help! - 11/17/2007 9:20:10 AM