How To

Simple techniques to help you relax

Finding ways to relax can improve life at home and at the office. While it's not often easy to find time to slow down, especially for those men and women juggling the responsibilities of career and family, the following are some simple techniques that don't take much time but can have a positive impact on your day.

• Take some time out from multitasking. The ability to multitask is a cherished commodity for parents and working professionals alike, but men and women can benefit from periodic breaks from their everyday juggling acts. Something as simple as focusing on a single task for 30 minutes at a time, as opposed to checking emails while preparing dinner or working on a project while answering a client's phone call, can help lower stress levels and have a lasting and calming effect on your nerves.

• Make time to meditate every day. Studies have shown that meditation can affect the circuitry in the brain, positioning it to more adequately respond to illness and stressful situations. Meditation has the added benefit of being a relaxing exercise, as meditation encourages people to sit with their feet on the floor with both eyes closed in a relaxing setting that is free of external distractions.

• Walk away from your desk and couch. It's well documented that spending too much time sitting at a desk can have a negative impact on your health. In addition to elevating a person's risk of heart disease and diabetes, sitting at a desk all day long has been linked to repetitive stress injuries, obesity and back pain, each of which can contribute to stressful living conditions that make it difficult to relax. Men and women should spend at least five minutes each hour walking, whether they are getting up from their desk at work or getting off the couch at home. Doing so takes little time, but it can help to relieve stress at work and at home and improve your overall health.

• Practice yoga. Yoga is another activity that can help men and women relax. Yoga involves a series of poses that helps stretch the muscles and aid their recovery from everyday aches and pains, including those that often result from stressful experiences or days at the office.

Valdosta Daily Times