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5 Ways To Get Rid Of Stress

Updated on December 19, 2009

I’ve been called high strung more than once in my life. Whether or not that’s true, I do go through periods when I feel extremely frazzled and have to do something to alleviate the stress.

I’ve read the guru books, watched Oprah’s shrinks recommend this and that, seen late night infomercials selling the best of whatever – and nothing ever worked for me. Fortunately, several decades of trial and error have resulted in discovering 5 things that do. The next time you’re feeling stressed, overworked or just over emotional, try one of these and see if it helps.

  • Write it down

This is particularly useful when you’re really angry or upset with someone, but aren’t in a position to tell them exactly what you think or feel. For example: your boss sucks, but you can’t just storm his office and count the ways. No problem! Writing him a letter (that he'll never see, of course) is an excellent alternative. And believe me, it’s just as powerful as telling him what he can do with your job. Try it. You’ll see.

Also, if you’re just stressed in general (not due to a specific person) try writing down everything that’s gone wrong in the last 24, 48 or 72 hours. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fill a notebook up! It’s really a form of purging your system of all the crap you’re storing. You don’t even have to believe it’ll work – it just will.

  • Go get a massage

Americans do not do this enough. We tend to view it as overindulgence. It isn't. There is no substitute for a good massage – get the 90 minute one, if you can. If you can’t afford it, get one from a massage school, they’re always less expensive. Having lived in Europe for the last half-decade, I’ve learned why the Europeans are so laid back; most of them get massages every week. It’s amazingly relaxing for the body and mind. If you really don’t want to visit a masseuse, have your significant other give you one. Offer to trade; giving a massage can be almost as relaxing as getting one.

  • Take a bath

Not a shower! Showers are not relaxing. You only need to take one meaningful bath to realize that. You don’t need candles or pretty smelling soaps, you just need clean, hot water and lots of bubbles. No matter how you’re feeling when you get in, you’ll be light years better by the time you get out.

  • Go for a walk

Sounds simple, but it works. You need to be walking for the sake of walking though – just walking to the grocery store doesn’t count. The walk needs to be purposeless, so to speak. I’d like to say it’s all about communing with nature, but I’m not that cheesy. Alls I know is it works – I always feel very calm after a walk like this.

  • Curl up with a pet

There is something very relaxing about petting a dog or cat as they lay beside you on the sofa. Relax with one of your favorite DVDs and scratch Fido’s ears for a while. You’ll both be de-stressed by the time the film is over.

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These things sound simple and obvious, don't they. That's because they are - but we get so wrapped up in daily drama that the little things slip our minds. The next time you feel stressed, try one of these. They work.

xx Isabella

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