Monday, April 5, 2010

Soothe Away Your Stress Part 2

If you missed part one, check it out here.

Here are five more tips from Good Housekeeping 's Kate Hanley on how to reduce and soothe away your stress.

Bless Their Hearts:

Temper flaring? Next time an aggressive driver cuts you off, or a co-worker sends a snippy email, or you trip over your teenager's skateboard, try saying this small phrase: bless their heart. It's a short and simple reminder that the person you're angry with is human and could probably stand a little forgiveness. It also benefits you by deflating your anger and boosting your compassion.

Spend Time with Someone Great:

Of all the things you do in a week, how many of them do you actually enjoy? This week, treat yourself to some time with someone you admire whose company makes you feel great. We all need real-life role models; spending time with yours can help you remember what’s most important to you. If you can’t see each other face to face, call them on the phone or write an old-fashioned letter.

Separating Clouds:
Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart, knees slightly bent, arms crossed at the wrists in front of your pelvis. As you inhale, straighten your legs and sweep your arms above your head. Exhale and open your arms out to your sides and back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times, then reverse the movement (opening out to the sides first) for 5 reps.

Bellows Breath:
This breath clears out your lungs and gets you inspired again. Sit cross-legged on the floor with your spine tall. Bend your elbows and bring your hands in front of your shoulders in loose fists. As you inhale, straighten your arms above your head and open your palms. Exhale strongly through your nose and bring your hands back to shoulder-height fists. Repeat for 20 breaths.

Finding a Balance Benchmark:
Keep tabs on your stress levels by setting a balance benchmark — one thing you do regularly that makes you feel great. It could be eating a home-cooked meal a day, reading the paper on Sunday afternoon, or taking a walk with a girlfriend once a week. When life starts interfering with your ability to do your balance benchmark, you’ll know it’s time to reshuffle your priorities so you don’t end up burning yourself out.