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A Handy Stress-Reduction Tool

Here is an example of an easy, yet highly effective way you can reduce the chances that the stress in your life will cause damage. If you already experience physical and/or emotional symptoms, this tool may help to eliminate the negative effects of stress. It’s a simple 7-step exercise that’s easy to remember, takes only a few minutes to do, and can produce great benefits to your physical and mental health:

  1. Make yourself comfortable in an upright sitting position.
  2. Close your eyes (if that helps you focus).
  3. Pay attention to the present state of your body, especially muscle tension.
  4. Let go of thoughts about past or future events; stay in the “now”.
  5. Just notice your breathing. Allow yourself to breathe in slowly and deeply.
  6. Exhale for about twice as long as you inhale. Take your time; let mental effort go.
  7. Do this for about 3 -5 minutes.

With a small amount of practice you can extend the relaxation exercise to 15-20 minutes per day. Over time, you can actually train your body to relax even when you are facing stressful situations. While you can make a big difference in your own stress level just by practicing this simple exercise, at times, professional help may be needed. That’s when consultation with an effective, supportive therapist can assist you in navigating the rough waters of life for smoother sailing, more joy and greater productivity.