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Reducing Stress

For all of us, particularly for the last few years, stress has become an ever-increasing problem. Planning a wedding can increase your stress levels beyond the stress of everyday living. There are different ways of dealing with stress one may work for some and one may work for others. Find the method that works best for you.

Here are some ideas that you can try.

Tip #1 - Fresh Air

Get out of the house or the building you work in. Get some fresh air in your lungs. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Be around nature if you can; in the grass, near trees. Being in nature can help ground you and relieve some of that pent-up stress.

Tip #2 - Exercise

Even if you can't go outside. Try some exercise to relieve that stress. Stand up and walk around. Keep a stress ball nearby. Jogging in place will get that blood flowing. Just remember to watch your breathing while you exercise!

"Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits.
  • It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner's high, any aerobic activity, such as a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike, can contribute to this same feeling.

  • It reduces the negative effects of stress. Exercise can provide stress relief for your body while imitating effects of stress, such as the flight or fight response, and helping your body and its systems practice working together through those effects. This can also lead to positive effects on your body—including your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems—by helping protect your body from the harmful effects of stress.

  • It's meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball, a long walk or run, or several laps in the pool, you may often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated only on your body's movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you stay calm, clear, and focused in everything you do.

  • It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression, and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life." – The Mayo Clinic

Tip #3 - Music

Listening to some of your favorite music that helps you relax is good therapy for stress relief. When I am working, I often listen to Ancient Japanese Meditation on Spotify. If that isn't your cup of tea, Spotify and Amazon Music offer a wide selection of meditation music, from Nordic to Asian, to Native American. In any case, listen to what works for you.

Tip #4 - Candle Meditation

My final tip is one that has worked for many of us. Place a candle, preferably a scented candle with lavender or some other scent that is relaxing to you, on a low flat surface by itself. Sit on the floor in front of it in a comfortable position. Watch the candle burn and breathe deeply. In through the nose and out through the mouth. After a few breaths, imagine your stress in this dark ball of energy in your body. Focus your attention on gathering it up and begin forcing it out of your left arm if you are right-handed and vice versa. Continue watching the candle as you concentrate and force that dark ball of energy out through your hand. In your main hand, imagine a rainbow of energy entering your body and replacing that stress with calm, focus, and motivation. After that, perform another half dozen breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Close your eyes and blow the candle out.

Final Thoughts

Stress can literally kill you. You can't rid yourself of the exterior stimuli that might cause you stress. You can take steps to minimize it and keep yourself focused on the positive. Particularly when it comes to marriage, you don't want any more stress being brought into the marriage at the start that could be dealt with before.

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