How to Relax in a Stressful World

       It’s the 21st century and let’s face it people, we are living in a fast paced, information overload, need everything, “right now”, society. It’s no secret that stress is a major problem these days. From the moment we roll out of bed we are bombarded with the thoughts and realizations that we have a never ending to do list. We grab a cup of coffee, and run through the things we need to do that day. We have to go to work, pick up the kids from after school, clean the house, do the laundry, make dinner, balance the checkbook, go over the bills, walk the dog, yell at your spouse because you’re so stressed out, cry quietly to yourself in the bathroom because you know that you’re going to have to pull little Jenna out of cheerleading just so you can afford the electric bill and then maybe, just maybe after all that, we get a few hours of relaxation time if we’re lucky.  So what are we overly stressed out people supposed to do? Is there any possible way to reduce the stress we face every day?  I have compiled a little list of things that may help cut back the stress of our day to day lives, and let us have a little more relaxation time.

  1. One word: Yoga.  I tried it once, and I haven’t stopped since. If you’re like me you carry stress around in your muscles. Sometimes we are aware of the tension and other times we are not. Yoga is a simple and effective way to relax the body and the mind.
  2. I know you’ve heard this a thousand times but exercising is the best medicine for stress. Not only are you going to get into amazing physical shape, but the body actually releases chemicals called “endorphins” which is your body’s natural “happy chemical.”
  3. This may come as a surprise to you, but you need to get out of your same old routine! Sure routines are nifty; I mean they give us structure in a hectic world right? However sometimes you have to break free and do something completely out of the norm.  Go see a band play on a week night, at some hole in the wall bar. Trust me; throwing a little spice into your life is never a bad thing!
  4. This next suggestion may have some of you electricity addicts throwing things at your computer screen, but why not try shutting off all your electricity for an hour or two? If you pay close attention to when your electricity goes off due to a bad storm, it’s strangely calming to have no computer to run to, or artificial lights on to keep us awake. Why not try reading a book by candle light instead?  Or you can even sit around with your family and just talk. A little quiet time never did the soul any harm.
  5. Listen to relaxing music. I swear, I can have the worst day ever but, then I throw on my “Spanish Guitar,” CD and like magic, I’m having a good day. Of course listening to the whine of a Spanish guitar may not be your thing, so browse the internet, or CD isles of your local Best Buy for something that you find soothing. Not everyone has the same taste, but I bet you ten buck, listening to music you enjoy will definitely help you relax! Or at least take the edge off!
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