Relaxing Your Body And Mind

Stressed out? Don't feel alone; it's a normal part of life. And even if you can't do anything about the stressors themselves (those things that create your stress), be it school related, family related, emotional or all of the above, there are plenty of ways of relieving the stress itself. Unclench those fists, take some deep breaths and read on.

1. RELAX! 
Though it may seem obvious, make sure you put aside enough time on a daily basis to chill out. Sure, you have lots to do, but remember that in order to properly relax, you need to give yourself permission to do so. Sitting, reading, or even watching television for twenty minutes a day, caring nothing of the world or your responsibilities does not make you lazy or irresponsible! If anything, it makes you feel more responsible to your own well being and peace of mind. Try it.

2. LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR TIME
We know, we know...you have a million things to do and not nearly enough time to do them in. In fact, you have so much to do that there are those few little things that may never get done at all! Sometimes it takes as much, if not more sense to set limits for yourself. Try this: make a "to do" list. Break down your tasks for the day or for the week in order of priority. Break all the larger tasks up into bits you can handle without pulling your hair out. As you complete each task, check it off your list. At the end of the day, count your marks and see just how much you accomplished. Not bad!

3. SIMPLE MEDITATION
Meditation is not just for Buddhists anymore! No need to get transcendental, either. Try this simple method and feel your stress lift away. First, light you favorite candle. Second, sit comfortably at eye level with the candle's flame. Gaze softly at the flame, and relax your mind. Lift your mind of all thoughts except for breathing (controlled and rhythmic) and the flame. If your mind wanders, shift your eyes back to the candle. Keep practicing this technique and you'll feel relaxed and warm in no time. This is a great way to wind down at the end of the day, and prepare yourself for a restful sleep.

4. RELAX YOUR MUSCLES
Ever notice that when you get really stressed your muscles get tight, tense and even knotty? Check yourself when you're feeling the most stressed out that you aren't unconsciously clenching your fists, grinding your teeth or even hunching your back. Loosen up! Try this technique. First, get comfy (you can lie down or sit, it doesn't really matter). Next starting with your neck, arms, and shoulders, and working your way right down to your calves, tighten each muscle group up to ten seconds, and then release the tension slowly, for up to 20 seconds, while just breathing normally. Repeat as many times as needed where you feel the most tension. Doesn't that feel better?

5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Don't take it for granted that you get enough sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, there are many techniques that you can try to make your eyelids nice and heavy. Try reading a book, or putting on some soft, relaxing music. Consider aromatherapy, as well. Lavender oil is great for this. Dab some right onto your pillow or temples. Let it flow right into your senses! There are many other tricks, but remember, if you are really having a hard time sleeping, talk to your doctor for more solutions.

6. HAVE FUN!
Lastly, remember to have some fun along with your studying, work, and other responsibilities. Spend time with friends and family. Take time out to laugh! Take up a new hobby; it's always great to have something new and enjoyable to spend time thinking about. Remember that work is important, but never let it get the best of your sanity! Always have something to look forward to at the end of your busy day no matter what it is. You'll be chillin' in no time!
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