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Stress Relief for Your Body, Mind and Spirit
Fifteen ways to de-stress once and for all!

Part Three: Spirit

(Article continued below.)

  1. Write a gratitude list. This ties in with not being so negative. Over the course of your life you have received many gifts - gifts of friendship, family, wonderful opportunities. You have unique talents and there are many aspects of yourself that are pretty great. When you're having one of those days when you feel like the world is caving in on you, it's time to pull out a pen and a sheet of paper and create a gratitude list. When you realize that there are aspects of you and your life that satisfy you and bring you joy, it helps to put the bad stuff into perspective.
  2. Meditate. You don't have to make a big production out of it with the meditation cushion, dimly lit room, incense, soft music and the whole bit. Just finding a quiet place where you can close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and still your mind for a few moments is enough. There are hundreds of ways to meditate, but they all fall into a few basic categories. There's the type of meditation in which you are just detaching from your thoughts and letting them wind down. There's the visualization type of meditation where you mentally escape to a pleasant scene, usually somewhere in nature. There's the visualization in which you picture yourself achieving a goal. If you're religious, there's prayer, or meditating on God. Utilize the one that works for you.
  3. Commune with nature. Few things can put you in touch with your higher emotions than spending some time in nature. If you're like most people suffering through stressful times, you probably don't have a whole afternoon, much less a weekend, to escape to the mountains or the shore (but if you can swing it, it is something you definitely should do). As with meditation, you don't have to be elaborate in your search for somewhere fresh and natural. Got a backyard or a park nearby? That may be good enough. Sit under a tree, watch the ants at work. Smell some flowers. Look up in the sky and watch the birds. Collect pretty rocks or seashells. When you take a close look at nature, you realize that in spite of everything man has done to separate himself from the wild, we are still very much a part of planet earth.
  4. See the bigger picture. If you do manage to spend some time in nature, one thing it will show you is that you are only a small part of the equation - a grain of sand at the most. People get stressed out when they put too much importance on problems that really won't matter in the long run. Two hundred years from now who's going to care that you were five minutes late to your meeting? In fact, who's going to care ten minutes from now? Take a look at the overall scheme of your life - most of what is going on right now is going to be forgotten next week or next month. Focus on what really matters to you, and let the rest take care of itself.
  5. Let go of results. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to relieve stress. If you are always concerned about what's going to happen, you'll always feel tense and you'll never be living in the present. And if you can't enjoy the moment now, you won't know how to enjoy it when you do reach whatever goal you are stressing over. Don't let your problems hang over your head like a heavy black cloud. Even big problems go away eventually, no matter how you deal with them. Even your major life decisions aren't your be-all and end-all - you'll still be around, just on a different path. Not better or worse, just different. The whole point of life is the journey, and what you learn while you're on it. When you reach a goal, it doesn't mean you are done - it means you're ready for a new lesson. Instead of living like you're going to be handed a report card on your deathbed, focus on the quality of your life from moment to moment. Embracing the richness of Right Now is the biggest life enhancer of all.

Back to the Beginning >> Body >> Page 1, 2, 3

This article sponsored by Stress Less.

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