STRESS – these 6 letters can be as bad as a 4-letter word at times. Unfortunately, in busy ladies’ lives, stress is something that is routine and should be expected in everyday life. The effects of this 6-letter word can be very persuasive and overwhelming, sometimes leading us to believe that there is no hope. However, there are stress management strategies that have been used that can be successful in maintaining a healthy stress level. Effective stress management is merely about taking control of YOUR lifestyle, emotions, thoughts and the approach that YOU take to cope with your personal problems.

Below are a couple of natural ways to lower and take control of everyday stress. Try adopting a few of these effective strategies and see if your stress level will be under YOUR control.

MEDITATION (some call it “mindfulness”) is a powerful way to relieve stress. Ladies, basically, you will make the decision to free your mind of any thoughts that may be swimming around your head and clouding your thought process. I know we are all busy ladies, but take 10 to 15 minutes throughout our day and just “shut down.”

You can do meditation anywhere. The main purpose is to clear out your mind, give yourself some quiet time, and let your busy confined thoughts run free. The purpose is to simply empty the thoughts about your job, empty the thoughts of your relationship, empty the thoughts of those teenage kids…well, you get the picture. In other words, think on things that are pure and of good rapport.

A good meditation technique is to think of a word that seems to calm you and take in deep, slow breaths and as you exhale – very slowly, say that word in your mind. Repeat this until you feel a sense of calm then start to think of the happy thoughts that are before you. The great thing about meditation is that the calm spirit doesn’t just end at the end of the meditation; but can follow you throughout the day.

EXERCISE is as close to meditation as you can get. The similarity is that exercise, as well as meditation, gives women time to be alone with their own thoughts and grants us the opportunity to let them go. We busy ladies carry the weight of the world in our minds – clean the house, business reports due, take care of the kids/grandkids…and the list goes on.

While exercise seems like a moot point to some, ladies, exercise in any form-shape-color can act as the perfect stress reliever. If you are not into yoga, tai chi, or kick boxing, try a slow jog or a brisk walk. Any kind of activity can be part of your stress management plan. For the most part, exercise knocks out stress by pumping up endorphins, which help to improve the mood.

Although there are a large variety of ways to control and live with every day stress, try these two at first and then gradually add to your list of stress relievers. Try these and watch YOU control your stress rather than your STRESS controlling you.