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Beating Stress

 

Body & Soul
  1. Breathe gently but deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  2. Lie on the floor, then starting with your feet, clench and relax every part of your body.
  3. Laugh! It's a great way to release tension.
  4. Have a really good stretch.


If you have a little more time, try having a warm bath.
Get Some Therapy!
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There's a myriad of treatments available that will help you feel better inside and out:
Make Time For Massage
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Ideally, indulge in a professional massage at home – otherwise, you'll get wound up again on the way back from the beauty salon and the benefits won't last as long. Book the appointment for early evening, and that night you should sleep like a baby. Aromatherapy massage with fragrant essential oils is wonderfully relaxing: lavender and chamomile will make you feel on cloud nine. To find a masseur who will visit your home, ask at your local GP surgery.
Wake Up To Water
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For the ultimate in relaxation, spend an hour or two in a floatation tank. Lying in a bath of mineral salts leaves your skin super-soft and makes you feel as if you've had a good night's sleep! Or try the DIY version: soak in a bath of Epsom salts (available from pharmacists). Hydrotherapy – massaging the body with jets of water – has long been used to relieve joint and muscular pain, and is particularly helpful for bad backs. This therapeutic water treatment is available at health spas in most areas. Swimming can also be an extremely accessible and inexpensive stress reliever.
Try Meditation
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If you can achieve a state of inner peace, you'll feel less anxious and better equipped to cope with the demands of everyday life. Begin by sitting comfortably, with your eyes closed. Choose a word that has no emotional significance to you, then repeat it silently to yourself. If your mind wanders, concentrate on your breathing.
Walk Tall
The strains of modern day living can result in poor postural habits. The Alexander Technique helps you improve the way you use your body in everyday activities, such as standing, walking and sitting. It feels fantastic. For details, log on to the website of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique at: www.stat.org.uk or call 020 7351 0828.
Treat Your Feet
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You'll either love or hate reflexology, in which a therapist massages reflex points in your feet. The therapy is based on the belief that every part of the body is linked to a point in the feet: by stimulating certain points, the therapist can ease tension or heal ailments.
For details, log on to www.reflexologyweb.co.uk
Useful Tip: Having A Grey Day
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Wear blue: according to research from Mind, the mental health charity, it's the colour most likely to lift your mood. But avoid black, brown and red if you're down in the dumps.


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