Relax yourself into paradise: the 5 secrets of stress-free living

We live in a stressful world. Constant overstimulation from technology, worries about our loved ones, work, career, finances, health, and happiness—all of these cause us to feel stressed out, overburdened, and stretched too thin. Now, there’s a way to relax and bring joy and peace into your life by learning the 5 Keys of Stress-Free Living, as follows: *MAINTAIN ONE POINT FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT: In our increasingly complex, technology-connected world, we find ourselves overbooking, multi-tasking, and perennially distracted. The solution: Do one important thing each day. You may want to sit down and talk with your love partner, kids, or best friend. Spend time with your pet, write creatively, learn a new recipe, work on new business plan, exercise, practice a spiritual path. Whatever it is, consider this your priority for the day. If you do this one important task, you are done. You can relax, rest, and perhaps later pick up a secondary task. *VISUALIZE SERENITY: With your eyes closed in a comfortable place at home or in a natural setting, take ten to fifteen minutes each morning and evening to visualize a beautiful and peaceful place. Maybe, you see a beach, mountain, lake, or river. See yourself there alone or with a loved one (or a special animal). Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Ask yourself: What do you see there—what colors? What do you smell? What sounds do you hear? How do you feel emotionally? This simple exercise will brighten the beginning of your day, and leave you with a satisfied feeling at the end of the night. *TIGHTEN AND RELAX: When your body becomes tense with stress, one simple exercise to practice is “Tighten and Relax.” For 5 to 10 minutes each day, stand with your feet shoulder length apart and extend your arms straight ahead. Now, take a deep breath through your nose (hold your breath), as you form fists with your hands, and tighten your arms and entire body. Hold this position (and your breath) for 5 to 10 seconds, then let your torso collapse (while still standing) as you exhale. Feel all of the tension suddenly leaving your body as you swing like a rag doll while standing. You will feel a tremendous release of tension and anxiety when you practice this exercise. *WIND DOWN BEFORE BED: Many people have their cell phone in bed or nearby, TV on, and other technology in their bedroom. Yet, this overstimulates your mind and makes it difficult for you to fall asleep. The key is to turn off all of your technology devices—cell phone, pads, TVs—for 30 minutes to one hour before you go to sleep. Instead, follow a relaxing bedtime ritual. Read a book (yes, the old-fashioned kind), take a bath, make love to your partner, pet a dog, read the children a story, write in your journal. Whatever you choose as your pre-bedtime ritual, make sure it is relaxing and comforting so you can ease into a good night sleep. *CULTIVATE YOUR MEANING PRACTICE: One of the greatest stress-relievers is to have a “Meaning Practice”—Live daily with your life’s purpose or meaning in mind. For some, people that is a religious or spiritual practice, in which they live their lives for their God, higher power, or spiritual nature. For others, it means being a compassionate, loving, and contributing human being, being loving toward their loved ones and children (and neighbors), and leaving a lasting legacy of goodness. When you have a meaning practice, the little things in life—traffic jams, technology breakdowns, rude and obnoxious people, temporary financial difficulties—don’t have the power to keep you down. Even larger challenges and obstacles—trauma, loss, suffering, even death—lose their psychological bite when you have something to live for that is higher than yourself. You feel more secure, comfortable, and loved when you know, deep down, that there is a positive and wonderful purpose for your existence on earth. Yes, it is possible to live a relaxed and peaceful life in a world of turmoil and strife. It is said that those who can keep their heads about them, while all others are losing theirs’s (letting anxiety control them), are true powerful human beings. You can be one of those psychological invincible people who can maintain calm and peace in times of difficulty and stress. At the same time, your calmness and relaxation can inspire others around you to do the same and live with peace, love, and meaning. For more information on RELAX YOURSELF INTO PARADISE: THE 5 KEYS TO STRESS-FREE LIVING