Posted on Mar 28th, 2006

Of all the ways to relieve stress, meditation may be one of the best, but what if you don’t have the time? What if you are having trouble with your meditation? Try one of the following three good techniques. They don’t even require any practice.

Breath To Relieve Stress

If you don’t feel like meditating or just don’t have the time, you can at least stop for one minute to just breath. Just breath deeply through your nose and let the tension drain from your muscles as much as possible. Give special attention to the tightness in your face and shoulders. Deep breathing, even for a minute, can relax you significantly.

Resolve Your Stressors

As I was sitting here getting ready to write this, something was bothering me. On reflection, I realized I’ve been putting off making a phone call. I needed to tell a acquaintance that I couldn’t testify in court as I said I would. She was disappointed, but as soon as I made the call I felt more relaxed.

Simply making decisions and taking action can be one of the most immediate ways to relieve stress. Take a moment whenever you feel stressed, identify the things in your mind that are contributing to your state, and then do something about them. That’s all there is to this simple technique.

Almost. Naturally, you can’t resolve everything that is bothering you at any given moment. Still, what you can do is take some action. Indecisiveness, waiting, wondering and worrying cause stress. Even if you just make a list of what you need to do, your mind will often let these things go. Start a list, talk to someone, make a decision - just do something to let the stressor go.

Do Things You Enjoy

On Friday nights, when I play chess at the coffee house, I don’t think about anything else for four hours. When you are totally engaged in an activity, there isn’t room for stressful thoughts. Fully engaged, though, usually means that it’s something we enjoy doing.

While physical activity has some advantages, you can try doing anything that you can put your whole mind into. That could be reading a good book, cooking, or playing with the dog. Notice which activities really engage you and let you drop your worries, and keep that mental list handy for whenever you are stressed. When your passionate activity is also your job or business, this can be one of the best ways to relieve stress.

Steve Gillman has meditated and studied meditation for over twenty years. You can find a good mindfulness exercise and subscribe to The Meditation Newsletter at: http://www.TheMeditationSite.com

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