Countless studies show that stress not only feels bad, but is a major contributor to health problems. Before you get stressed about stress, though, the good news is that there are a number of ways you can relieve stress naturally. These are five proven ways to do it in 10 minutes or less:

1. Deep Breathing

Sit in a relaxed upright position with your eyes closed and focus your attention on your belly. Now breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose, expanding your stomach as you do so. Imagine you’re filling your body with air from the stomach to the top of your head. Now exhale through your mouth and feel stress leaving your body.

2. Meditation

Two effective meditation techniques involve watching your breath and/or repeating a mantra or affirmation. Combining the two has been shown to be a very effective way to relieve stress. Sit comfortably upright with your eyes closed and observe your breathing without trying to control it. As you breathe in, repeat an affirmation such as “I feel at peace” or simply “at peace”. When your mind wanders, gently refocus on your breathing, letting your thoughts float by like harmless clouds. If you have time, start your meditation with the deep breathing exercise outlined above.

3. Live in the Now

Stress is naturally a built-in response to a present danger. Unfortunately, it can also be a response to anticipated or imaginary danger. Take a few minutes to live in the Now and unless a tiger is threatening to attack you, you will feel stress melt away. Make a habit of living in the present moment and you will be amazed by how much it enriches your life. Hint: Following tips One and Two above will help make living in the Now easier.

4. Tune in to Stress

Sometimes it seems impossible to relax and destress. Doing a “body scan” can help you locate areas in your body that are tense. You can do a body scan lying down or sitting up. Start at your toes and work your way up. When you find an area that seems tense. send healing energy to it through your breath.

5. Gratitude

Stress is a negative emotion often caused by fear of loss or the mistaken idea that we lack something we need to make us happy. Gratitude is a powerfully positive emotion that is always at our fingertips. Even when you feel overwhelmed by problems, you can feel grateful for the present moment. Develop an “attitude of gratitude” and even the biggest hurdles you face will become opportunities for personal and spiritual growth rather than stress-inducing obstacles.

Exercise, yoga, improved diet and the help of supportive friends are other ways to relieve stress, but you can do these five powerful stress relieving exercises any time. If you can’t meditate for 10 minutes or more, even a few minutes will help and you can always live in the present moment.

2014 Way2Wellness Retreat
We have chosen the tranquil grounds of the Avrajita Retreat (pictured above) in beautiful Kangaroo Valley as the venue for our 2014 Way2Wellness Retreat. The theme of the retreat is Regroup, Refocus, Realise. Find out more about it in our March PWC Newsletter.

We’re holding the information night well in advance of the retreat, which is scheduled for 26-28 September 2014, to give you plenty of time to plan ahead. The information night is on Thursday, 27 March 2014 at 7:15pm at Petrozzi Wellness Centre. If you miss the information night, call us anytime for information about the retreat.