Whether you’re stressed at work, school, or home, you know stress is a normal part of life. Stress works as your body’s reaction to change and adjustment. However, it can cause major changes in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. If you stress over your constant bouts of stress, you are not alone:

  • 43% of adults suffer from stress.
  • Stress is the reason behind 75-90% of doctor’s office visits.
  • According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, stress is a common hazard of the workplace. It causes
  • corporate America billions of dollars of annual costs.
  • Chronic stress problems lead to a 50% chance of developing a lifelong emotional disorder.

If you’ve ever downplayed the effects of stress, consider this:

  • Stress leads to a number of physical problems. Many health-related issues stem from stress, including asthma, diabetes, headaches, heart problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, weight gain, chest pain, upset stomach, memory and concentration impairment, sleep disorders, and arthritis.
  • Stress leads to emotional problems. The emotional effects of stress include anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
  • Stress leads to addiction. Many people become addicted to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs to alleviate the symptoms of their stress.

While it may be a normal part of life, feeling constant stress wreaks havoc on your professional, social, and personal relationships. Here’s what you can do to de-stress and adopt a healthy life. Breathe Breathe in; breathe out. When you concentrate on your breathing, your body slows down and begins to tune into its wants, needs, and desires. Whenever you feel stressed out, try this:

  1. Sit up straight.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Place a hand on your belly.
  4. Slowly inhale through your nose.
  5. Use your hand to observe breath traveling through your abdomen.
  6. Slowly exhale through your mouth.

It doesn’t take any equipment to breathe, nor does it take much time. Devote five minutes to deep breathing each day-the exercise allows your heart rate to slow down and blood pressure to lower. Meditate Meditation involves training your mind to stay quiet, calm, and collected. Once you master the art of meditation, your mind and body naturally de-stress and become healthier. Meditation relieves anxiety and allows the brain to build immunity toward stress-try different types of meditation to determine which is best for you:

  • Smiling meditation – Stop what you are doing and smile. Smiling meditation allows for happy, joyous, or even cheesy thoughts to enter into your brain and make your situation seem less dire.
  • Walking meditation – Leave your office for a fifteen minute break and walk around. Walking meditation couples exercise of the body with exercise of the mind. First, notice your breath. Once you’ve steadied your breath, pay attention to your knees, gait, hips, and feet. Pay attention to how your body works and it will amaze you.
  • Musical meditation – Choose your favorite music, close your eyes, and listen. Most meditation tracks are comprised of birds chirping and waves going to and fro, but mix it up with your favorite tunes. Whether you like jazz, pop, country, or rap, find music you can focus on for a few minutes at a time.
  • Body-focused meditation – Tune into only your body for the duration of your meditation. Keep your feet apart, twirl your head from side to side, lift your knees and feet as you pay attention to your neck, throat, shoulders, armpits, chest, stomach, hips, groin, thighs, knees, legs, angles, and toes.
  • Naming meditation – Think of every person who has done you wrong or stressed you out. Do you have the names in your mind? Once you do, attach wishes of success with each name.
  • Noise meditation – Close your eyes and listen. Listen to office chatter, birds outside, the sound of your kids screaming, and near by traffic. Once you’ve focused all of your energy on listening, you may realize the chaos of your life doesn’t need to personally affect your well-being.

You can meditate anytime, anywhere. It’s up to you to pick the perfect place to sit straight, close your eyes, and meditate. Exercise Just like calm, deep breathing and focused meditation, exercise relievesstress and helps your mind and body heal. When you engage in any form of physical activity, your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are happy hormones that cause different parts of your body to feel euphoric-a great way to combat stress. While most physical activity is helpful, there are certain exercises that relieve stress, including:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Biking
  • Pilates
  • Dancing
  • Group sports

Once you find the activity that fits best with your schedule, your mind and body can relax and heal. If you find it hard to de-stress, try to focus on your breathing and meditate daily. Once you’re body calms down, find different ways to exercise to release endorphins-your body will thank you for it. De-stressing issimple, fun, and an essential part of a long, happy life. Use these techniques to decrease the stress levels in your life.