In My Mind's Zen Garden
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10 Ways to De-Stress Your Life and Not Be Distressed

Morning Cup

baddha konasana in sirsasana ILife in general can be full of stressful things from health matters to daily interactions with others, to financial and family problems. Yes, sometimes life can be a drag.

I’ve just been putting together some things that help me to de-stress, or provide “stress management” in my life. I think it’s very important to keep things in perspective, no matter how tough the journey of life becomes:

. . . .

  1. Meditate

    Whenever I’m feeling stressed, like before a big gig, I take time out to sit down somewhere, close my eyes and concentrate on slow, deep breathing. Meditation helps one to not get caught up in one’s thoughts. By focusing on deep breathing and just “being”, one can get a handle on one’s emotions and attitude. And become more relaxed and focused.

  2. Do Yoga

    Yoga, to me, is like a physical form of meditation. Yoga is actually an entire Indian Philosophy and part of that is Hatha Yoga, which is to practice various poses while concentrating on slow, deeply focused breathing. They say that mind, body and soul are one, so relaxing the physical body, its joints, limbs, muscles, etc. helps to calm the mind and get it ready for meditation.

  3. Listen to Music

    I’m playing music at home all the time, literally. I don’t watch much TV and my favorite past-time is surfing the web while listening to calming classical music or jazz, or some world music from the Himalayas or from Africa or Jamaica. Music soothes the soul, and the more you listen to good quality music, the better.

  4. Take a Hot Bath

    Being a strict vegetarian, the winter months can be cold especially at night. I take hot baths to soothe my aching muscles from drumming and other physical activities. And a hot bath helps keep the muscles warm and limber for yoga. Also, taking hot baths makes one more calm and peaceful.

  5. Read a Good Book

    Well, I’m sure many of you read a LOT. So, this is a given. Reading puts one in another world if you are reading some fiction. Or, reading spiritual and philosophical books always helps to put the world in perspective. It’s important to take the time to read some good books.

  6. Find a Hobby

    Coins and Stamps are still a hobby of mine. This is another past-time that can be a pleasant diversion. I’m not a serious Stamp and Coin collector, but I just think it’s fun to collect them and try to complete certain collections of one coin or stamp, etc.

  7. Do Some Gardening

    I find it soothing to just work with the soil. One doesn’t have to have a total green thumb, but there’s something that’s therapeutic about working the soil and planting flowers. You don’t have to have a backyard to do it in. One can do container gardening, grow an herb garden near the kitchen window.

  8. Go For a Walk

    Walking always calms the soul. Whenever I would get mad at someone I’d go for a walk and just walk-it-off. Or, one doesn’t have to just walk around the neighborhood, and can go anywhere. Walk out in the park or walk along the beach and get your feet wet.

  9. Go to the Movies

    Well, depending on what movie you see, going to the movies can be a nice diversion from the stresses in one’s life. Movies that REALLY calm me down when stressed are small independent or foreign films. But I’m probably not alone in this when I say that movies help forget one’s troubles and aids in de-stressing.

  10. Go Window Shopping

    Kind of related to walking I guess, but sometimes window shopping can be a stress reliever, depending if you get stressed knowing you don’t have money to afford things or not. But just getting out to the mall and looking around in the stores is enough to divert one’s attention to life’s stresses.

Here are 10 more suggestions.

Anyway others? I welcome your thoughts and suggestions…. What do you do to de-stress?

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About the author:
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Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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