Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sooth Away Stress Part 7

If you missed the other parts, check them out here

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

Tree Time:

That quality of air that emanates from trees...wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. —Robert Louis Stevenson
Spend time this week sitting under a tree. If you can, bring a blanket and settle in. But even if you only have 5 minutes on your next dog walk, do it. Taking a break from the beeps, rings, and honks of modern life to listen to the leaves rustling in the wind is soothing and uplifting (and free).

Belly Breathing:

Dreading another week? Counteract that feeling with deep breathing. Lying on the floor, rest your hands on your belly and feel them rise and fall with your breath. Begin breathing first into the belly, then the rib cage, and finally the chest. Exhale in the reverse order — chest, ribs, stomach. Continue for five minutes. You’re flushing stale air and ushering in fresh oxygen — perfect for letting out old stresses and preparing for the week ahead.

Make a Date for Downtime:

Downtime has become a dirty word, but it’s a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. As world famous yoga teacher Donna Farhi writes: By not doing so much, we create natural pauses to reflect. This week, find 10 minutes in your schedule to do nothing — sit outside and feel the breeze on your cheek, or lie on the floor and listen intently to your favorite song. No reading, no TV, no talking on the phone. Just be.

Eat Seasonally:
Eating foods that are in season is a great way to get more in tune with nature — a connection that helps lower stress levels and promotes feelings of well being. Browse a farmers' market for perfectly ripe tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, peppers, and more. Choose as many different-colored foods as you can (since bright colors indicate high nutrient levels) and treat your family and yourself to a meal that feeds the senses as well as the stomach.

Practice Saying “No”:
Now that summer’s over, life is going to get busy again before you can say “back to school”. Minimize your impending schedule overload by honing your ability to say no to things you just don’t have time to do. The more you practice now, the easier it will be to say no in a few weeks when work, school, and socializing are all back in full swing and clamoring for you to take on more and more.