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Your house is a mess. You got stuck in traffic. You were late to work. Your dog ate your favorite wedges. The humidity has turned your hair into a frizz-ball. And that stupid color wheel of death won’t leave your computer screen.

Life is often stressful and it can have a very real, very negative effect on your life. You can feel tired, frustrated and ready to hit that happy hour hard.

Although stress is part of life, it doesn’t have to take over your life. Health and wellness coach Dr. Jay Warren offers some simple tips to help deal with the s word:

1) Breathe – Dr. Warren explains that when you go into “stress mode” your breathing shuts down and your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. Take a few moments to take some big “belly breaths.” Breathe deep in through your nose, letting your tummy expand and let it out through your mouth. You’ll let go of stress and feel more energized.

2) S-T-R-E-T-C-H – The “fight or flight” stress reaction tightens muscles so that you will be ready to confront a saber toothed tiger or Snooki riding a saber tooth tiger (hey, after she’s had a couple of drinks anything is possible). Instead of stressing or fighting, try to stretch out your neck, shoulders and lower back. Here are a few easy stretches to try.

3) Just Say “NO” – Trying to do too many things in too little time is stressful. Say “No” to new obligations and say “Yes” to clearing your plate for a while to make room for new fun things that make you smile.

4) Drink Your Troubles Away – Stress produces inflammation in your body that in turn causes pain, hurts digestion and increases irritability. Drink more water to flush those toxins out of your body, washing your stress away with it.

5) Recharge Your Batteries – If you think that “someday” you’ll find the time to relax, think again. It’s all too easy to keep pushing off that day. Make an appointment with yourself this week for a little R&R. Read a book, watch a sunset, go for a walk…anything that unplugs you from the day-to-day grind and plugs you back into yourself.

If you’d like to read more of Dr. Jay’s “Simple Ways to Stress Less and Live More,” you can get the complete series for free at his Facebook Fan Page: Being Well Lifestyles.


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