Relax: What You Need to do to Reduce Stress

By: Susan Clark
Posted: 09/30/2007

Relax - what you need to do to reduce stress.

Do you feel stressed out a lot of the time? Do you take time to relax?
Do you know how to relax? When you go on vacation how long does it take you to finally relax? You are taking vacations and time out from work, right?

This week Time Magazine featured an article titled, "Six Ways to Handle Stress." First, "There's more than one way to relieve stress." This week I will share with you the first three ways to relax.

1. Breathe Deeply. Regular, slow breathing - a common characteristic of meditation and prayer - alerts your brain that you are in a safe place far away from predators. It also relaxes your heart, decreases blood pressure and removes waste from the bloodstream.

2. Take a Vacation. A change of scenery clears the head, recharges the batteries and, according to a recent study sponsored by Air New Zealand, improves reaction time 82% - provided that you ignore your e-mail and allow a couple of weeks to disengage and unwind.

3. Make Friends. Social isolation increases the physiological damage caused by stress. A survey found that Americans have only two close friends with whom they can confide their deepest concerns - down from three friends 20 years ago.

This week focus on relaxing. Are you able to relax comfortably or do you feel guilty? Do you take time to breathe deeply? Sometimes just getting up and taking a short walk helps reduce stress. Have you had a vacation of at least one week in the last year? Do you have friends with whom you can confide in? 

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