...and exhale

i'm easily gratified. little things in life can make me smile and/or laugh. i think that's a good thing? when it comes to stressing out...well that's another thing i let myself do way too easy.

i've really been focusing on "de-stressing" lately after realizing that i'm way overstressed and it is was actually becoming noticeable in my day to day life. i'm not zen or chi, but i have been meditating. don't picture me with my index finger touching my thumb chanting, "hummmm......hummmm," cause that's ridiculous (in my opinion). it's more just about being somewhere comfortable and quiet and just "being" you. ya dig? another de-stresser i've been practicing lately (and has been really effective) is deep breathing. six seconds in, hold for four seconds, exhale for eight seconds. i do this four times and it's great...except the time i almost fainted (i tried exhaling too long). another odd practice (to me) that has been effective is guided imagery. you can do this along with deep breathing and make it a form of meditation. the basic goal of guided imagery is to focus on one thing/word and let your brain get lost focusing on this one thing/word. for me, i use the word 'peace' and it's worked great. yoga is awesome stuff, too. i'll admit it...i do yoga (it's to help my running!) some natural (and legal) herbs can really help, too. rhodiola rosea extract is good and is known to be mood enhancing. it helps maintain healthy cardiovascular function, can enhance memory and helps maintain healthy brain function. research also claims that it can be useful in improving work performance, improving sleep, appetite, reduce irritability, reduce occasional headaches and fatigue. umm....yes, please.

ok....there's plenty other things we can all do to de-stress, but what it comes down to is finding what works for you. one thing is for sure: stress in life is a given, but handling it properly can change your daily life.