Stress Management: Do You Know How to Relax?

By: Paul Phillips
It looks like there are many people trying to reduce stress. From work hassles, to family problems, to money issues, people's lives are filled with potential stressors.

One very good way to handle stress is relaxing. Taking just 10 or 15 minute break away from your hectic life can do your mind and body a world of good.

But, surprisingly, many people don't seem to know how to relax effectively. They know how to take a short break away from the stresses of work, or running after hyperactive kids. But they don't know how to use that break to give them the most benefits.

So, how can you relax effectively? Here are some tips.

Let Go of the Tension

If you have been on your feet all day, sitting down for five or ten minutes can be a huge relief. But if you are sitting in your chair as stiff as a board, and already thinking about having to go back to work in a little bit, you aren't really relaxing.

When you sit down to take your break, forget about the work you will have to get back to once the break is over. Make a conscious effort to let go of the tension. Put your feet up, if you can. Relax those stiff muscles. You can even slouch in your seat if you want to.

A good way to relieve stress is by relaxing your body.

Don't Think

Many people use their breaks to think. They think about all of the things they have to do after work, or once the kids are off to school. Or they think about how they will deal with the problem that came up before their break.

Typically, thinking about things like work-related problems or your busy schedule aren't very relaxing.

During your break, try occupying your mind with something that won't add to your stress. Read a romance novel or an entertainment magazine. Or spend the time playing with a stress relief toy.

Rethink Those Errands

The purpose of a break is to give you some time to relax and reenergize, so you can face the rest of the day with renewed energy and pep. However, if you spend your breaks running errands, you aren't giving yourself time to relax or reenergize.

So, before you spend your break running errands, reconsider. Are these things you absolutely have to do during your break, or can you do them at another time?

Learning how to deal with stress is critical. But things can get so hectic, some people feel almost guilty for taking a moment to relax. However, by doing so, you will actually make yourself better able to deal with the stresses of daily life.
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