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12 Ways to Make Stress Go Away

By Sandy Schroeder

If you are like me, stress rides right along on your shoulders much of the time. I keep a copy of these 12 simple stress reducers from Harvard Health on my desktop to remind me, stress does not have to win.

If stress is generating headaches, increasing blood pressure, causing you to put on weight, or just taking the fun out of your day, try these simple steps.

Slow way down - If you feel yourself speeding up as demands accumulate, just stop. Look around and see what's really happening. Then move more slowly to solve one demand at a time.

Calm down - Whatever is happening, getting excited over it probably won't help. Take a deep breath and stay level as you work your way through one day after another.

Stay positive - Nothing may be as bad as it seems or feels. Take a look at your current stress issues and see if you can rethink your approach.

Lighten up  - No matter how rushed you feel, there are always a few moments to have coffee with a friend, or share a joke with a co-worker. Lighten up the day whenever you can.

Step away - When things get crazy, shut down your computer and your phone. It will all be waiting when you return, and you may feel much better.

Savor the moment - You may be so stressed your shoulders are up around your ears, but finding ways to enjoy life can keep you level. Take time for a weekly yoga class, or have lunch with a friend to keep your perspective.

Smile a little - Whenever you can, enjoy the moment with a great piece of music, a little time reading, or timeouts to play games with your family.

Get outside - Being outside brings its own very special kind of stress relief. Full sun, fresh breezes and lots of green trees and grass do make a difference. If you don't have time to go to the park, set up a small outdoor retreat on your patio or in your backyard.

Use your breath - Drop back and breathe deeply. Find a quiet spot, close your eyes, and slowly inhale. Count to five as you exhale. Repeat five times.

Unwind - Develop ways to release the tension from your body and the pressure from your thoughts. Hum a favorite song, do some stretch exercises, or carry a sketch pad and markers wherever you go.

Learn a simple meditation - Take a class, or follow online guidelines to create a simple meditation. At first, you may not see results, but repeating a short meditation morning and evening may become a welcome habit to ease your worries.

If you are still having issues with stress in spite of efforts to relax, consider seeing your doctor and a therapist to work through the issues.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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