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Stress-relief: Techniques That Work For You!

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By: Cherisa Chapa

Stress can come in many forms - from workplace tension, marital woes, family squabbles, financial perils - only to name a few. Stress triggers your body's "fight or flight" response either enabling you to flee from harm (as in escaping a potentially harmful situation) or, more likely in our modern times, it triggers a response to a given situation or event, such as an argument, traffic jams, deadlines, etc. These situations increase our blood pressure and breathing as if we were to flee.

Chronic stress keeps our body in this "fight or flight" reaction thus leaving it at an unhealthy level that negatively affects our immune system. In fact, studies have shown that stress is related to 90% of all illnesses.

How do you recognize stress? Stress has both physical and emotional factors with each presenting their own list of symptoms, such as an inability to sleep, headaches, pain in back, shoulder, or neck areas, trouble thinking clearly, lack of concentration, and memory loss.

Learning to handle stress is essential to good health. Long-term stressful situations lend themselves to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, tooth and gum disease, hyper-thyroidism, and other major health issues.

What techniques can you use to help you to cope with stress?

* Have a distraction free bedroom by removing the TV and all work-related items from the room.

* Avoid staying in your bedroom when not sleeping or relaxing; use only at bedtime.

* Use relaxation exercises to learn how to relax, such as the one below, even while at work during a break or lunch.

* Eat right and exercise regularly, even if it is only 30 minutes a day three or more times a week.

* Plan your daily activities according to priorities. Create a check list.

* Mentally or physically check off completed tasks which will give you a sense of accomplishment.

* Participate in wellness programs or create one of your own by receiving a weekly massage, pedicure, body wrap, or another relaxing treatment.

If your stress is due to a major crisis as in disasters caused through nature, war, or an act of violence, professional help may be needed to learn to cope with the multiple emotional and physical issues involved. Consult with your health care provider about your stress factors.

Relaxation Exercise that you can use anywhere:

*Close your eyes.

*Take a deep breath.

*Inhale and exhale slowly throughout this whole process.

*Concentrate on your toes.

*Will your toes to relax.

*Next concentrate on the bottom of your feet.

*Relax the bottom of your feet.

*Continue until you work your way up to the top of your head.

About the Author:

Cherisa Chapa, LMT is the owner of Nature's Paradise Spa (http://www.naturesparadisespa.com) where you can learn more about relaxation techniques, massage therapy services, spa treatments and pampering products that you can use at home. - Finally Pampering Just for YOU!

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