- Be Present... Slowing down and focusing on the 'now', might seem elementary, but it's a great tool to help reduce my stress levels. SO many times, I find myself racing from one activity to another (school, meetings, appointments, the gym, class) that I loose sight of the forest for the trees. I can't count the number of times I've just taken a few moments in the car and stopped. If I'm late, I'll be late. Those few minutes won't be the end of me... But the time to regroup, catch up and just BE help get me through the rest of the day.
- Music... I can't speak for everyone, but music is a HUGE stress reducer for me. Listening to relaxing music helps lower my heart rate, blood pressure and lowers anxiety levels. If you have the time, create a playlist of songs that help you unwind. Of, check out nature sounds (I'm partial to the sounds of the ocean). I've also recently discovered this great CD by Stan Richardson, called //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=sorchholis04-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B0000037AE&asins=B0000037AE&linkId=W5BZLN6MHJO4C5CW&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" target="_blank">Shakuhachi Meditation Music. I listen to this while doing yoga, meditating, bathing the kids... Doing dishes.. It's great! Check it out!! I'm also working of a Sorcha Playlist, so check back!!
- And lastly, Breathe... Relax your shoulders and close your eyes. Sit quietly, and focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose and out through your mouth. Don't alter your breath, but merely bring your attention to it. Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your torso. Allow the rhythm of your breathing to raise and lower your hands. Follow your breath in and up, then down and out. Repeat until you real. Even a few moments of quiet could help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.
There are million of opinion and an even greater number of articles about all the ways to reduce stress in your life. The challenge I have found is that, what works for everyone else, might not necessarily work for me. That being said, I will, over the course of MANY blog post and articles, recommend ways in which to relax and reduce stress. They might not all work for you, but that fine. Perfect, in fact. My hope is that I will guide you to a mean that helps YOU relax... Lets face it, if it were easy, everyone would do it... And, well... It's not. Hence the millions of opinions, 'How To' books and experts in the field. Please understand, I am not saying they are incorrect, on the contrary, there are SO many excellent suggestions floating around, it can be overwhelming. What I am suggesting, is that you search for what works for YOU, because you are the most important person in this endeavor. So, here are three easy ways that I have found, that help me relax... And let's face it, with three kids, three dogs, a busy house and even crazier schedule, I need all the help I can get.