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Stress is a tricky thing. It can show up in ways we, at times, don’t realize. There are times when we can verbally express we are stressed. In other situations, we might not realize it and our body reacts in different ways. It could be through pain, ailments, overeating, loss of appetite, and/or lack of sleep etc. If you are feeling stressed here are three ways that can help you calm down.

1. Breathe: It is important to keep breathing. When we are stressed our breath naturally shortens. Check in with your breathing. If your breaths are short, take some time to practice some cleansing breaths. Take five seconds to breathe in, hold it for five seconds, then breathe out though your nose for five seconds.

(Click here for more on how to do breathing exercises.)

2. Practice self-care: It is important to create a healthy balance. First learn to be gentle with yourself and know that this too shall pass. As you acknowledge that you are stressed find some activities that will bring you peace and make you happy. Along with having some fun, be sure to get some rest. Proper sleep will help reduce stress and improve your brain function.

3. Learn the lesson: There is a lesson behind this situation. Meditate and ask to be guided to the lesson that needs to be learned. As you listen and follow the guide you will learn the lesson and be able to move on. Remember, lessons are repeated until it is learned completely. Stressful situations and difficult times can be great teachers if we are open to receiving the lesson and growth.

Understand that a peaceful mind can’t be distracted by people and external circumstances. It is a work in progress that takes practice, and worth it for your health and life.

How do you release stress? Let us know in the comments below or #Soundoff via Twitter and follow me at @yvelettestines.

Yvelette Stines is an award winning writer. Her work has been published in Essence magazine, Uptown, Heart and Soul, Jones, Hispanic Executive Quarterly, and Green Build + Design, just to name a few. Her book Vernon the Vegetable Man encourages children to choose healthy lifestyle habits. Stines blog Calming Corners motivates readers to live a calm and healthy lifestyle. She holds a M.S in Holistic Nutrition and M.Ed in Education. You can find her calmly playing on social media @yvelettestines + @calmingcorners.

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