Whatever your cause of stress is in life consider the effects of long term stress. Stress is harmful to our bodies and minds. Stress increases inflammation in the body and increases cortisol levels which damages brain cells. Are you experiencing symptoms like headaches, body aches, fatigue, skin rashes or insomnia, etc? Start by following this 5 simple steps, asap.

Support Systems Do you have one? In general, people want to help you. Asking for help is necessary sometimes. Find someone, a group, a friend or a professional or all of the above. Someone who is able to listen to you who is not involved directly to your source of stress.

Relaxation – Another name for this in Yoga is “Savasana”. The body and mind can’t just relax on a dime. Both, body and mind need to be primed for relaxation. “Savasana” comes at the end of a yoga practice and what you do is lie on the floor, on your back for 5-20 minutes, quietly, not sleeping.

Exercise – This is known as “Asana” or what is called Hatha Yoga. It’s the postures, such as Down Dog and Tree Pose. Do you need to get back to your weekly class? Or ramp up your practice to 2x or more times a week? Also, you can try to practice yoga at home or at work, on break or maybe at lunch. New to Yoga? Take a beginner class, find a “Yoga for Beginners” on Youtube or schedule a private session at your local studio.

Keep a Positive Mental Attitude – This would be considered, Meditation and mindfulness. Being present with yourself and being still, is meditation. Meditation is giving attention to your mind and then going beyond your thoughts by using your breath. Again, we can’t expect our mind and body to simply stop and meditate without some instruction or guidance and preparation. Find a local class. Meditation classes are usually donation based or at least inexpensive.

Keeping in Balance – Take a look at your basic necessities. Are you: Drinking enough water? Getting good nutrition? Getting enough sleep? Working no more than 8 hours a day? Stay simple during stressful times. Use your support systems to help you stay focussed on getting your basic needs met.