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What can I do to lower my stress levels and generally relax more?

We all need to stress less and relax more. However, with the hectic lives most of us lead today, this is easier said than done.

Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to help you reach a calmer state of mind...

Taking a couple of minutes out of your day to practice a deep breathing can have tremendous effect on your stress levels. If you want to take things a stage further you could try meditation to really calm the body and the mind.

Stay off the coffee
Don't be tempted to combat stress with a caffeine fix. It may give you a short term high but it will ultimately make you feel even more stressed. To relax you need to sooth the body. The stimulants in coffee certainly wont do this.

Talk Talk
A problem shared. It's good to talk. These may be cliches but that doesn't make them any less true. Talking to your partner or a close friend about your stress will be like releasing a pressure valve. And of course they can often provide invaluable help and advice.

Take a bath
It may seem simple, but taking a bath is constantly voted by women as the best way to destress and relax the body and mind. Twenty minutes of hot water, soothing bath salts, flickering candles, gentle music and maybe even a glass of wine - it really doesn't get any better than this.

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