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Natural Awakenings Hartford

Managing STRESS...“take 10”

We all know that stress can affect our health, appearance, sleep, eating, decisions, relationships and longevity. So how do we just “chill out”? With practice! We’ve practiced our current behaviors for some time, so practice is needed to recondition our thought process and ensuing behaviors.

One method to reduce stress is to take long shallow breaths. Practice slowly inhaling through the nose to a count of four, hold it for a moment, and then very slowly exhale through the nose on a six count. This can be done several times in a row and throughout the day. This type of breathing can slow the heart rate and feed calming oxygen to stressed muscles.

Thinking of a calming phrase can also help reduce our stress. Try a phrase like “is it worth it,” or “it is what it is” or whatever works for you! This simple process, once practiced, can give provide a ‘mindful’ moment to reflect on what just happened and what may happen. It can also keep a little cool on the heat of a situation… so that we can get through a challenging moment and simply “Chill Out”!

Jody Koval, LPC is a psychotherapist in Glastonbury. He works with people to help them cope with life's adjustments, with the goal that they can fully function and live life to its fullest. For more information call 860-657-6123 or see his listing on
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