Being a parent. Running my own business. Trying to make family life work well while trying to achieve more business wise. Stress is a serious threat to my health, especially long term stress, and probably yours if you find yourself in a similiar life situation as mine. There are relaxation routines and meditations that can be helpful, but who has the time to do them? Thankfully there are quick, simple and effective relaxation techniques that are ideal for people like me and you who do not have time for meditation. Relaxation through Tension The mind and the body are intimately connected. Not only does your mind control your body, your body also influences the way your mind works. You can use this to your advantage when you are feeling stressed, by tensing up. Tighten every muscle in your body as much as you can and hold them that way from 20 to 30 seconds. Then, all of a sudden, relax everything. The sudden relaxation your body experiences will be felt in your mind, helping your stress melt away. Get in the Shower and Wash the Stress Away Taking a shower is great for relieving stress in tired, tense muscles. As noted above, relaxing the body can also relax the mind. Watch for the Signs of Stress Stress doesn't usually leap out at you all at once, it builds up gradually. Watch out for the tell tale signs of stress, like irritability, headaches, and feeling nervous or run-down. Watch out for things that you know can make you stressed, such as hunger, worry, or waiting for an important email. Once you see these things happening, you can do something to nip the stress in the bud. Laugh There are times when there is nothing more therapeutic or relaxing than having a good laugh. Even a couple of minutes laughing can make you relax and stop thinking about whatever it is that is causing you stress. If you are at home, stop and watch a comedy, or talk to a funny friend. If you are at work, then find that colleague who can always make you laugh. You can even just think about something that makes you laugh and feel the stress melt away. Relax with Some Good Tunes Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is to put on some music to take your mind someplace else where you do not feel stressed out. The music does not have to be relaxing itself, just so long as it is something that you can really get into. This is probably my favorite way of relaxing. Putting on the Bose noise cancelling headphones and just shut-down for a while. Deep Breathing Your brain needs oxygen to function effectively. When you're feeling stressed, stop what you're doing and take some deep breaths. Stress means that your brain is overloaded, and the deep breathing gives it the oxygen it needs to function better and reduce the overload. Do Something Different Living through the same routine day in and day out can be a significant source of stress. Doing something different can therefore help you alleviate stress. Change up your schedule when you can to keep things interesting. Go to lunch at a different time than usual and order something that you don't normally get. Stay up a little later at night, or sleep in a little in the morning. Even small changes can do a lot for your perspective. Go for a Walk A short walk can do wonders for getting rid of your stress. It gets you away from the source of the stress, it gets your heart pumping and raises your energy levels, and it also gets you out in the fresh air. So you see, you don't need to be an expert at meditation to get a handle on your stress. Just use these quick, simple tricks and you'll soon find yourself feeling a lot better.