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meditationEver feel like a chicken running around with your head cut off? There never seems to be enough hours in the day. The boss has you on tight deadlines at work and when you come home, you can’t even sit down for a moment before you have to cook dinner and run the kids off to soccer practice.

We let our brains run wild with everything we have to do, which causes us to tense up and be on edge. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 73% of people admitted to regularly experiencing psychological symptoms caused by stress including irritability, nervousness and lack of energy.

With much of the battle lying within our minds, here are a few tips to help you cut through the noise and mentally de-stress:

  1. Meditate

Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. A big benefit is that you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.*

  1. Take Out A Pen and Paper

Having a thousand things running through your brain can create a lot of tension. Journaling is a great way to “brain dump.” By simply writing out your to-do lists, your thoughts and your emotions, you will automatically feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

  1. Unplug

In the age of social media and the digital world, coming home from work doesn’t necessarily mean downtime. Many of us come home and proceed to check our personal email, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram account, etc. Instead, try unplugging when you get home. Stepping away from technology and loads of content will give you a mental break. We promise, you won’t miss anything.

  1. Step Into Nature

Being in nature can provide you with a breath of fresh air. Listening to the sounds of nature, exploring its beauty and taking a deep breath will help you clear your mind.

  1. Crack Open A Book

A study conducted by the Telegraph reported that just six minutes of reading can help you de-stress. Reading is linked to a slower heart rate and muscle relaxation. Reading a novel can also provide an escape into another world, as you enter into the lives of different characters.

  1. Express Gratefulness

Instead of focusing on all the things you are worried about, think of what you are grateful for in your life. By jotting down even small things (good cup of coffee, sunny day, great conversation) daily, you will train your brain to be on the lookout for the good stuff, and thus notice more of it.

Remember, much of our stress is self-induced. By practicing a few of these tips, you’ll help yourself manage stress and better appreciate all the blessings in your life.

*The Mayo Clinic provides some great information on different types of meditation. Learn more here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

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