There are easy ways to relax, and regardless of whether you are at work or home, use some of these simple ideas to reduce stress on a daily basis.

Take a deep breath or two. Taking a few slow deep breaths helps release the stress in the body. It helps to turn off the stress. When stressed you tend to breathe in short and rapid breaths. It evens out your breathing and returns you to a calm state.

Thinking of good things is a simple way to lower your immediate stress. Think of how happy it makes you to feel to be loved, how wonderful your kids are, a great vacation you went on, how pretty a beach is. Simple pleasures produce a simple smile.

Change your attitude; think more positive about situations and outcomes. Instead of being worried about what you didn’t get done today, think about what you did accomplish. Try to get out of the habit of thinking about how bad things might be, and think that “this too shall pass”. You will get through tough situations with less stress if you don’t let it consume your mind and energy.

Let it go – sometimes you just have to recognize you cannot change a bad situation or you have no control on the outcome. In those cases, just let it go.

Get up and walk over to talk to someone instead of sending an email or picking up the phone. The small break will remove you from the environment, allow for a bit of exercise, and give you a moment of person to person interaction.

Remember to eat healthy foods with a lot of nutrients. Consume fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods. Include fish in your meals. Snack on nuts.

Get a little bit of exercise every day, even ten minutes of stretches and deep breathing is better than nothing at all. Try to get three good workouts each week to release the endorphins in your brain (30 minutes or more) and contribute to your overall heart healthy experience. If you hate the gym, find other activities like basketball, bowling, dancing, jazzercise or yoga where you can have fun, meet people, and exercise.

Find time for your hobbies…whether that is golf, gardening, crafts, reading, playing a musical instrument, or genealogy. Find time to turn off work, turn off the kids, get away from bills and household chores – do something for yourself that relaxes your mind.

Laugh. Be sure to include heavy dose of laughter in your life. Whether it’s from someone telling a joke, watching a funny movie, listening to a comedian, or even laughing at “stupid reality show”…laughter releases pent up stress.

Slow down, just a little. Even when you multi-task, like talking on a cell phone and driving at the same time, your mind and body require more energy. Even getting up from your desk a bit slower can help ease the tension and relax your mind and body.


  • To read more on this topic by a professional, there are many good books out there. Some of the above were gleaned from “Stress Free for Good: 10 Scientifically Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness” and “”Forgive for Good”, by Frederic Luskin, Ph.D.