Stress is literally and figuratively a killer. It causes your body to work harder. In moderation stress is a good thing it helps us stay focused and alert. Prolonged stress puts pressure on your body this pressure takes its toll physically, mentally, and emotionally. By learning ways to relieve stress you can relax and have a clear mind. How Can I Manage Stress? Managing stress isn't an overnight task. It takes time and effort. The first step is to look for a way to unwind. There are some universal relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, but finding activities outside of work can help to decrease your stress levels. If you're feeling overwhelmed cut back on your activities or responsibilities, with proper time management you can effectively avoid some stress causing situations. What is Relaxation Meditation? Relaxation meditation is a form of meditation to help relieve some of your everyday life stresses. The idea behind it is to relax your body and focus your thoughts on one thing for a specific amount of time. This allows your mind and body to relax. Beginners of meditation typically use a quiet room away from disturbances. Keep a clear mind and avoid any distracting thoughts. Sometimes you may choose to repeat phrases or concentrate on certain focal points. DID YOU KNOW? According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, just about every illness is either directly caused by or made worse by stress. Using techniques to help manage your stress can help prevent costly medical bills and promote healthy living. Relieve your stress and clear your mind. What Is Managing Stress About? From the way you deal with problems to your thoughts of the day, stress is everywhere. Managing stress is all about taking charge, and learning the best way for you to deal with your problems. Identify the true source. Look at your habits, excuses, everything. Until you can accept responsibility for your role in how and why you get stressed, your stress level will always remain out of your control. What does stress have to do with illness and disease? Stress is widely believed to lower the effectiveness of our immune system. According to Healthy People 2000, stress contributes to 50 percent of all illness in the United States. 70-80 percent of all doctor visits are for stress related or induced illnesses. With statistics like these, it comes as no surprise that stress impacts our medical bills long before we ever realize it. How Do I Typically Deal With Stress? Think about how you handle stress. There are two things you can change about how you react to any given situation. By learning how you deal with stress, you can help improve your stress management. Keep an eye on what works to lower your stress and what triggers it. Everyone has different responses to stress, so there is no single answer in how to cope with it. Meditation is the easiest way to calm your thoughts and rest deeply. It allows you to attain a better state of calmness. Try meditation or other relaxation techniques to obtain a clear mind. These techniques allow your mind and body to divert away from your stress to give it the chance to relax and recuperate. Dr. Kathleen Hall is an internationally recognized lifestyle expert in stress and work-life balance.