7 Quick Stress-Reducing Strategies

relax
Image via Flickr/ anieto2k

Being a parent is a never-ending, tough role. You're constantly being pulled in a million directions — house cleaning, soccer practices, science fairs, meal prep. You're the provider for your precious little ones, and it's an overwhelming job. We're here to help!

Here are seven tips you can apply to your everyday life to help you unwind, if only for a moment!

reverse prayer pose
Image via Flickr/ Rob.Bertholf

Fold your hands, as if in prayer, behind your back. When we get stressed, we tend to tense up and cave our chest in. This opens up our chest so we can breathe more freely. Pull the shoulders back, tilt the head back, and breathe deeply.

ear massage
Image via Flickr/ ShamaKern

Rub the circumference of each ear with your hands — right hand rubbing the right ear and left hand rubbing the left ear. According to Ayurveda, India's 5,000-year-old method of natural healing, there are marma points (like acupuncture points) in the ears that correspond to the various parts of the body. Rubbing the ears in this way is like giving yourself a mini massage!

flowers
Image via Flickr/ mjmonty

Stop and smell the flowers. Keep some lavender essential oil in your desk or purse. When you feel stressed, bring it out. Close your eyes and breathe in the fragrance. Count to five. Then exhale through your mouth to the count of five. According to aromatherapeutic practices, lavender is very calming, and when we close our eyes, it isolates the sense of smell so that we feel it more intensely.

{ MORE: Preserving Memories When You’re Short on Time: Alternatives to a Traditional Baby Book }

be present
Image via Flickr/ s.h.u.t.t.e.r.b.u.g

Practice present-moment awareness. Most of the time when we're stressed, it is because we are living in either the future or the past. Bring yourself into present-moment awareness by focusing on the now. Use what connects us to our environment — the senses.

joy
Image via Flickr/ Wonderlane

Hug yourself to be more “in your body” instead of in your mind where the stress is. Look at something beautiful — a flower, a bird, the sky — and just be with that for a moment.

{ MORE: Sometimes, Self-Care Doesn't Feel Very Good }

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gratitude
Image via Flickr/ shannonkringen

Take a sip of sweet tea — really taste it — and enjoy it. Being grateful in that moment washes the stress away. Gratitude and stress cannot be present at the same time!

yoga
Image via Flickr/ GoToVan

Sit in your desk chair or kitchen table chair and put your left foot on the floor, your right ankle on your left knee, and lean forward with a stretch. Hold it as far as you can go, then bend forward a little more. This opens up your hips and balances that tensed-up muscle feeling. Do each side equally.

{ MORE: It's Okay to Feel Conflicted About Our Choices }

What stress-reducing strategies do you use?

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7 Quick Stress-Reducing Strategies

Lissa Coffey is a Lifestyle and Relationship Expert who serves up an inspiring blend of ancient wisdom and modern style on her website CoffeyTalk.com and in her e-mail newsletters. She is the host of the CoffeyTalk web series on youtube, blinkx and other online outlets. Lissa is a bestselling author, her new recent book is: "What's Your Dharma? Discover the Vedic Way to Your Life's Purpose." Lissa is often called the "Dosha Diva" - she is world renown as the authority on Ayurveda and ... More

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