Would you like to experience less stress in your life?  Who wouldn’t?  With so many demands placed upon us, and with so little time to get it all done, it seems that the amount of stress we are living in is increasing, not decreasing.  And this is happening despite all of the recent medical findings that stress is an underlying cause of health problems.

You don’t need a medical professional to convince you to leave behind stress, through.  Stress is a form of suffering.  It makes us unhappy.  A little bit of stress can help you maintain your edge, but beyond that, you become too edgy.

One of the prices we have to pay for living in too much stress is the quality of our relationships.  The more stressful you feel, the more difficult you are to get along with, and the more difficult everyone else seems to be.

Another costly consequence of living in too much stress is that it gives rise to our addictive habits.  Under the influence of stress people eat too much, drink too much (alcohol, not water), and feel more prone to impulsively engage in other risky behaviors.

So we don’t need much convincing when it comes to recognizing the need for stress reduction.  But if that is true, why is it that so many of us are suffering from too much stress?

One reason has to do with our confusion about what it means to be really responsible.  Many of us seem to believe that if we are not feeling over-burdened and burned out from stress that we are not working hard enough.  Many seem to believe that to be realistic and practical one must worry oneself into sleepless nights.

But all of the latest findings suggest the opposite to be true.  The fact is that stress makes us less effective in every way.  It diminishes our ability to think straight, to problem-solve, to work well with others, to make the best decisions.  The more stressed out you feel the more inclined you are to making mistakes and causing accidents.

So one way to begin reducing our levels of stress is to simply understand that stress interferes with our ability to function at our highest capacity and to produce the best results in life.

Reducing stress, therefore, not only improves your quality of life in the present (because feeling calm and confident feels so much better than feeling stressed and anxious), it also helps us to better fulfill our responsibilities and achieve our goals.

If you would like to reduce your stress to improve your performance and the quality of your daily living experiences, do the following exercise on a daily basis:

1… Take a long, gentle deep breath.

2… As you breathe in, look for any tensions in your body and see if you can let them go.

3… As you exhale, imagine that you are exhaling all of the stress and tension that you have been carrying around.

4… Repeat this for no less than 30 seconds.

Doing this simple exercise on a daily basis can help you to reduce your stress by as much as 30% or more within the next 30 days.  That means 30% more happiness, 30% higher performance, 30% improvements to the quality of your relationships, 30% more success in your goal achievement.

While the exercise might seem too simple to make that much of a difference, as a result of doing the exercise regularly you will soon find yourself being more aware of how much stress you are feeling, and better able to let go of at least some of that stress right away.

De-stressing ourselves is important enough to make a major life-goal.  When you think of all the things you want to accomplish in life, place “feeling stress-free within” at the top of your list.

Did you find this article helpful?  What statement within the article do you like the most?  In what situations do you find it hardest to NOT get stressed out?  Share any thoughts or questions this article brings up, and let us know how doing the exercise has helped you to feel better and to do better in your life.

By Bob Lancer, Motivational Speaker and Author