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When under a lot of stress, I take to rearranging my furniture and decorative pieces. It is calming and a distraction from whatever is creating stress in my life at that particular moment. Once the task is completed, it gives me a new environment in which to think clearly and just relax and enjoy.
By Cathy Heller from California
You know we all have a hard time dealing with life as it is. But sometimes it seems as if we have to deal with extra challenges. Well, my husband helps me get through life's challenges by joking with me all day and creating spots of relaxation, no matter where we are or what we're doing.
For example, he put several chairs in different spots in our yard, put some music on, and put up a tent on the side of the house. So, even though we can't afford to take a vacation to relax from stress, we bring the vacation to us. I can't deal with stress well but my husband has taught me how to slow down and relax.
Did you know that peanuts are a stress reducer? Eat a handful of peanuts the next time you are stressed to the limit. Peanuts have magnesium in them, which is known to help regulate stress hormones.
By Queen BEE from TN
When stress, work, and worry build up, don't rely on expensive spa treatments for relief. There are many inexpensive, even free, ways to relieve daily tensions and add an extra bounce to your step. Try a few and put a smile on your face.
A fresh bouquet of cut flowers on the kitchen table does more than make the room look sunnier. After a long day, it's a welcoming perk to a home, and the sight and smell of the bouquet are calming. However, don't run to the florist for an expensive array of blooms; opt for a cheaper bunch that will have the same effect. You may even smile a little more knowing you didn't pay a bundle for them.
The bunches of flowers at the grocery store will bring smiles to any room for much less than floral shops; it only depends on the presentation. Try standing them in a Mason jar with a bow or raffia tied around the mouth. Another option is to use a tall drinking glass for simple elegance. Trim the bottoms of the stems at least every other day and change the water at the same time; this will prolong the life of the flowers. When the stems get short or some blooms die out, cut the stems down to one inch. Then, find an attractive bowl and fill it with water, leaving the blooms float in the water. They won't last long in the bowl, but it will extend their life an extra day or two.
Feet are important to overall energy. When your feet are tired, you feel tired. Throughout the day, care for your feet. The first step is to buy shoes that are properly fitted and well-made. You probably won't find a great pair of shoes for $10, but you certainly don't need to pay $100. Many well-made and stylish shoes, including high heels, can be found for $30-$40 at brand name discount shoe stores. It's worth the investment for them.
Another investment worth its weight in gold are gel shoe inserts. They can be removed from summer shoes and placed in winter shoes, giving them versatility, but what they do for the support and comfort of the foot makes their $10 price tag worth it. Opt for the full shoe insert rather than the ball of foot or heel insert, and bring them with you when trying on shoes. You may need to go up half a size in your shoes if you prefer a pillowed pad.
After the shoes come off, revitalize your feet from a long day's work. Ignore the touted foot massagers and foot spas; instead, make your own foot soak. Add bath salts or epsom salts to warm water in a plastic sink basin. Then, relax yourself with a book or watch the daily news while soaking your feet for twenty minutes. Once you remove them, wrap them in a towel that you warmed in the dryer. Your feet will feel refreshed and rejuvenated for almost nothing. Before going to bed, rub them thoroughly with petroleum jelly to wake up to moist, smooth heels.
Taking care of yourself is a priority. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. Exercising can give you a boost of energy and make stress levels fall. It's amazing how things fall into place after a workout. A hectic schedule becomes orderly, and a stressful situation offers a solution after a mental break during a physical workout.
Then, take time for yourself after a long day. Budget a half hour of quiet time into the end of your day. Watch a favorite television program, read in bed, or sit down with someone to talk before heading to bed. You'll sleep better and feel your tensions disappear, ready for another day.
For extra stress relief during cool autumn days, pull up a chair in front of a fire and stare at the flames. Focusing on the flickering colors, experts say, is proven to induce a mild meditative state that'll help you release worries and concerns. By Kathy
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I eat right and do a lot of walking. I have a glass of wine or two on the weekends. I do have a lot on my mind with work money and just every day life. I am trying to get my son through some tough stuff, he lost his father less than a year ago. Does anyone have some tips on simple ways to keep my stress down?
Rose from Rartian, NJ
I know what you mean, am exactly there! My son was living with me for almost a year after he and his wife split. My 3 grand kids were 1 week here and another with mommy, but I've been babysitting them all the time, since 9 years ago and my new grand kid (3months now) also, as well as my 85 yrs. old mother; so, you just can imagine how stressful I am. On top of that, my husband lost his job due to the country's situation last year, just started working 3 weeks ago, and yesterday 3/05 told me his hours had been cut. I like you need also help. You know what I've been doing? Praying. I want to meditate but it's so hard. Right now is 1am, 3/06, this is the only time I have to myself. Can't sleep that well either, but I'll pray for you. He will help us. Maria
I look for for at least 5 things to be thankful for every day and then I list them in my journal. I write my thoughts, idea and plans in the journal daily. I try to remember to live only one day at a time and trust God to do the rest.
My family laughs at my practice of "looking at the full part" of my life glass but it's helped me through a great deal of "stuff" like death, divorce, job loss, cancer, and "kid stuff". When I feel the stress of everything building up I just mentally step back and focus on what IS going right and what I DO have. This helps me to cope and relax and feel grateful. Then I spend a bit of time thanking God for the full side instead of asking for so much help with the empty side. Works for me.
Gardening helps with stress also walking a mile a day around the block. You may meet some new neighbors that's also walking or outside. Don't be afraid to speak, good luck.
A lot fo these tips are great but one of the best ways to give your mind a break is to get out and do something with friends. Many adults, especially mothers, tend to lose friends along the way.
If you don't have many friends to ring up to go out; join a group or take a class and be friendly. Concenttrating on yourself and making friends benefits you immensely and gets your mind off other things.
I love gardening and hiking but when you're alone your mind wanders back to your troubles.
Worrying about stress is stressful, I quit that. I have to admit, I will light a cig and have a touch of good whiskey. But what really helps me is that I try to remember this parable below, written by a friend.
One day there was a man who lived in a tiny village. As a child, he heard stories of a magical beast, that if caught, would grant him every wish. All of the adults in his village had hunted for this beast for as long as anyone could remember. Most never came close, others caught a brief glimpse, and the lucky few actually claimed to have found him.
Now that he was grown, the man set off to find the beast for himself. He wandered across the fields, crossed rivers, camped out at night, and climbed mountains. All the while, his thoughts focused on the beast. He must find it. He grew more and more tired, and eventually he grew old.
At the very end, he sat down in the meadow, and cried into his tired and wrinkled hands. Then, the beast appeared. It was beautiful, with green fur and gold claws and diamonds for eyes. It sat down next to the man, and said:
You have finally found me, old man. You never gave up. It is unfortunate that it came so late. What is your wish?
"I want to be rich," said the man.
"And why is that?"
"So I won't have to worry."
"Ah. And what has worried you?"
"I've always been obsessed with finding you- now that you are here, I can rest."
"So you worried about finding me so you wouldn't have to worry?"
The man didn't have an answer for that, so the beast continued.
"It happens every time. People are so obsessed with me that they can't see the glory of the mountains they've climbed, or the beauty of the rivers they've crossed. There's no time to rest or stare at the night sky and simply breathe. No chance to pick a few flowers or admire the deer as they graze. They hope to find me, in the hopes of becoming happy. Yet everyday they passed happiness by- in the trees, their family, and the birds in the air."
"I'm so tired," the man said, "I just want to sleep."
The beast crouched over him and closed the man's eyes.
"As you wish."
When I feel stress, I just have to look around & see I don't have it so bad. We live in a small town and we have a young teacher who just found out he has lukemia. His wife stays home - they have 4 children - 2 at home & 2 in the lower grades. That overshadows any stress that I have. Oh yes, I agree it helps give you Peace to bring your troubles to a Higher Power.
I have read that people who regularly attend a church or synagogue and have a deep religious faith have less stress in their lives.
I went to biofeedback, to learn breathing and relaxation techniques. No matter what you set your mind to do, your body is in full-stress mode, once you've experienced stress. So the best thing to do is relax your body first, and your mind will follow.
Just Google terms like "progressive relaxation" or "relaxation techniques" for details. Such relaxation techniques even help offer some relief of physical ailments from high blood pressure to epilepsy.
After my husband died several years ago, I had to learn to manage my stress and emotions so they didn't overtake my life. The thing that worked best for me was to actually schedule a time to let it all out, and that was once a day in the shower. I allowed myself to stay in there as long as I wanted (or until all the hot water ran out!) and cry, feel sorry for myself, pound fists - whatever I needed at the time. It really helped me get through the early stages of grief one day at a time. I know from experience that stress can do horrible things to your body, so do whatever you must to get those emotions out.
Emotional Freedom Techniques - EFT - Learn in 5 minutes!
I have used Emotional Freedom Techniques and can attest that it definitely works in reducing stress.
I meditate. It might take a while to get into it, but it really does work. I took a TM [Transendental Meditation] class in college, and it makes a positive difference. Take a class and take the hour or so a day [total] for yourself. You might even want to introduce your son to this restorative "activity". It's been greatly beneficial to me, for over 30 years. [I need to do it even more consistently]. Good luck.
I agree with the person who mentioned meditation. This is by far the best way to get out of a depression without medication. My father passed away last year and I lost a close relationship a few months later. I started yoga which includes meditation. Not sure I would have made it without this. Good luck and positive energy to you! peace.
I think the bible said it best in Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Our pastor put it this way: "Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers."
If you put your faith in Jesus and believe in what he did for us on the cross...anything in this world can be bearable.
Find a good church and mingle with the people there. Don't be afraid to chat with them whatever your religion. turn to God -- good luck
I agree with the people who suggested yoga. I have a 2 year old daughter, a needy cat, a loving husband, and a stressful job with an incompetent co-worker. So, not only am I stressed, I have little to no time either. Set a time at the end of the day or even during where you are "off duty". No children or pets or husbands or work thoughts or anything stressful allowed during this time. Take this time to do some yoga and meditate. It makes you more aware of your breathing and you can learn how to control your breath to help you control your stress and blood pressure levels. And, when doing the yoga, focus only on the poses - not whether you are doing them right or not, but the fact that you are doing them at all. The simplicity of a good beginner yoga routine works wonders. I recommend Richard Hittleman's 28 Day Yoga Workout. It is great for beginners and helps you relax.
A lot of good ideas have already been presented here, but guys and gals, you might've missed the simplest one - laughter.
The book of Proverbs says "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Borrow a clean joke book from your local library. Sign up for a daily joke email. Watch " Blue Collar TV," "SCTV," SNL," "Home Improvement," MASH" reruns, or "Mork and Mindy" reruns, or whatever makes you laugh.
Yes, do any of the other things suggested here that fit into your lifestyle and beliefs. But when you're really short on time, it only takes a couple of minutes at most to enjoy a good joke! If you're not ready to laugh yet, or your son isn't, please work your way into it. I believe it'll help.
btw... for whoever said we who have strong faith have less stress, you're mistaken, my friend. I don't have less stress in my life. I simply seem to handle it a bit better because I know what to do about it. God bless.
Here are a few ideas that come to mind:
take a couple of deep, slow breaths
take a nap
I can tell you what works for me I take a hot bubble bath by candle light and listen to soft easy music I also have a cup of hot tea Debbie
Fill a covered plastic container with popcorn kernels, sand, or dried beans. Running your hands through this medium can help reduce stress. Give it a try. This is a page about how to make a stress reliever tub.
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Try taking a B-complex vitamin formula. It is water soluble so you can't over dose. I call them my Happy Pills. They really work and start within 24 hours. The more stressful you are the more your body depletes itself of those fabulous Bs. The less Bs you have, the more stressful you become. A vicious circle. Some folks need the Bs daily. Others take them periodically or as needed. They work for depression too.
You don't need the expensive ones from the health food store. The cheap generic ones work fine. If they don't work for you take more. Your body will absorb what it needs and get rid of the extra. It may require different amounts each day, depending on the stress level or depression you currently have. Start with 100s. Remember you can't overdose. If the world was all on B complex, far fewer suicides, wars, divorces, psychiatric patients, etc. Good luck to you.
If you believe in a Higher Power...pray. I believe in God. I've let Him down many times, but He's never let me down! (03/28/2005)
I never used to think twice when I yelled at my kids, until I heard the neighbor next door yelling at her child. Now I try to imagine what I must sound like to someone else before I open my mouth to them. Also, there's the old stand-by of counting to10. (03/28/2005)
Try taking magnesium supplements (about 500 mg. per day) since it has a relaxing effect and is also good for your heart. I sleep much better when I take 1/2 of my magnesium dosage right before bed. (03/29/2005)
Some might not think of this tip as thrifty. But if you do this, it might save you a trip to the hospital.
Stress affects people in different ways, here are a few examples: broken blood vessel in one of your eyes, acne, etc. Take time every day, if for no longer than 10-15 minutes, to daydream. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, let your mind wander to some place you'd like to vacation (ex: a Caribbean island). Imagine the island breezes blowing through your hair, envision the waves of the ocean rolling over your feet. You'll be surprised at how refreshed you'll be afterwards. Remember to take time for yourself. (08/23/2005)
How about music. Classical music is very relaxing. You can even use soundtrack music. John Williams (of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws and much more) fame has composed some of the most beautiful music. Put on the music, lie on your bed, close your eyes, and breathe as deep as you can, hold it for a count of two, and slowly release. Do that several times. You'll find that each time, you will relax just a little more.
Also, a warm but not quite hot towel on your back can relax you. Make the towel as warm as possible. Too hot and it is just uncomfortable, not to mention you can burn yourself. Fold the towel so it covers your back and lie on your stomach, with your arms above your head. Let the warmth from the towel relax your back. It works wonders after chasing after two small children all day. (08/23/2005)
All these tips are great. I have one more. If the stress gets to the point that you can't think straight, I have found doing a jigsaw puzzle to be great! My mind has to focus on the puzzle, and there is at least a respite from my thoughts. After awhile, just no thinking on what brings the stress helps me even after I'm finished with the puzzle. (08/24/2005)
By Eileen from Queens
Exercising has made a real difference for me. (08/24/2005)
My doctor had prescribed Paxil, as well as other medications for anxiety and depression. They helped for a while, but I no longer need them since I found Yoga. I used to think Yoga was weird and was some kind of cult thing. But I broke down and bought a Yoga video on clearance (w/ Rodney Yee) at Blockbuster and it has literally changed my life and my body! It has given me peace of mind and has improved my mental and physical health unbelievably.
It improves your posture, benefits your immune system and digestive system as well as other benefits. It focuses a lot on breathing too. You would be surprised how much of a difference it can make after you learn how to breathe correctly. My 2 young boys (ages 6 and 8) also practice Yoga. They have a video of Yoga for Kids, and they are so much more peaceful now.
Another thing that helps me is Lavender or Eucalyptus scented essential oils. I sprinkle a few drops in my bath water, or on my bed sheets, in my car and keep some handy in my purse, so wherever I am, I can just take it out for a quick whiff to calm myself.
These have been the most effective ways for me. Give them a try. (08/25/2005)
A great way to relieve stress is to exercise, exercise, exercise! It doesn't have to cost anything either. Walking in your neighborhood every day doesn't cost a dime.
One of my favorite ways to de-stress is to listen to soft, calm music. I love to just sit back and close my eyes and take some deep breaths while listening. Great relaxation! Another way I love to de-stress is by watching old I Love Lucy videos! Laughter is a great medicine. It helps lower blood pressure and tends to reduce stress. I always feel much more relaxed after a good laugh session! (08/30/2005)
Meditation is really wonderful. You can do it anywhere! Do a search online for free guided meditations that you can download. Many groups in cities also offer free meditation sessions too. Try any Shambala Centres or Universities. (05/30/2008)
If you have a pet, spend time petting, playing, and walking with the pet. I know that always puts a smile on my face. Pets have proven they reduce stress in their human companions. If you do not have a pet, why not volunteer at your local animal shelter or animal control facility? While relieving your stress, the attention you give to a homeless pet can help relieve their stress as well. (10/15/2008)
Other tips I use for dealing with stress is to put your hands under warm running water (tap), and let your mind focus on the sensation for a few minutes. I tried this when going through the first weeks of quitting smoking! ( (10/15/2008)
Here are FREE ways to reduce your stress. Try to cultivate a few of these into your lifestyle and see if your stress doesn't diminish significantly!