Ultra Relaxed Breathing

The next time you’re doing some deep breathing, you can relax even more if you do the following:

  • Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, directly against the back of your upper teeth
  • Proceed to breathe in and out

Why is this more relaxing? The positioning of your tongue stimulates cross-lobe integration and relaxation in the brain.

Source: unknown

Give this a try and let me know if you notice the difference!

Clear Your Mind

Here are some very doable ways to calm and clear your mind:

  • Take a technology fast – for an hour, for a day, for a week… whatever you can handle. Experience what a difference not being constantly connected makes in your life. It might even be a little unsettling at first because it’s such a foreign concept to us these days. 

Warning: some common side effects of a technology fast include increased free time, more time doing things you truly enjoy and a less anxious state of being.

  • Spend a few hours organizing your closet, which includes getting rid of any clothing that you (1) never wear or (2) doesn’t make you happy. Why are you holding onto anything that fits into either category?! Donate them now and double the rewards for yourself and someone else.
  • Spend an hour or a few hours organizing and decluttering the rest of your home. Clearing your physical environment of unneeded and unenjoyed items can be very liberating.
  • Avoid gossip – talking negatively about your coworker or friend doesn’t leave anyone feeling in a truly great state of mind.  Negative thoughts lead to negative speech and vice versa. Try to keep them both on the positive side and feel the difference.
  • Write down your common stressors and why they stress you out. Then, figure out ways to either remove those things completely from your life or figure how to deal with them differently so they don’t stress you.
  • Catch yourself complaining and STOP! Just STOP. NOW. Everyone complains here and there, but making a habit of complaining only brings you down and often brings your mind to dark places. Try being thankful instead. Turn those common complaints into gratefulness. Example: Annoyed it’s raining? Be grateful you can afford those rain boots and an umbrella.
  • AND don’t forget to:


Have a stress free, joy filled day! ~Annie

Relax Your Entire Body

Feeling stressed? Don’t know how to relax your entire body? Well you can start by relaxing your forehead this instant.

Why it works — If you can keep your forehead from tensing up and your brow from furrowing then you can trigger an automatic relaxation response from head to toe.  This tip is often used with women in labor to cut down on pain. Pretty cool, right?

I’m doing it as I type right now and I can really feel the difference… I hope you do too!


Major added bonus — If used regularly, this technique will definitely help you out in the wrinkle department. Are you relaxing your forehead yet? ;)

Love Lavender?

If you’re a big fan of lavender then you will love this Lavender Aromatherapy Stick by Aura Cacia.  It is made with 100% pure lavender essential oil so it smells just like the real stuff.  I’ve been using it as my everyday perfume lately and I’m really loving it.

Some pluses (aside from the wonderful scent itself) — it’s under $10, it’s easy to carry with you, it promotes relaxation, and it never gives me headaches (like many conventional perfumes). The stick also comes in Tea Tree (great for bug bites & blemishes), Eucalyptus (helps with cold symptoms) and Peppermint (excellent for headache relief).


Hope everyone has a great start to the week!



1 Minute Stress Relievers

Stress flushes the body with cortisol and adrenaline, too much of which can raise blood pressure hence negatively affecting your cardiovascular and digestive systems. Sometimes it takes a while to feel really stressed out, but hopefully with these tips you can cool down much quicker than you heated up.

Here are some quick tips to keep stress away:

Take a few slow, deep cleansing breaths. Sit up straight, but not rigidly. Imagine slowly blowing your abdomen up like a balloon, moving the breath into your solar plexus, then up into your shoulders. Breathe out, consciously moving the air back out in the opposite order.


Particularly your muscles. Scan your body from the top of your head to each of your toes to monitor tension. Thinking specifically about each one leads it to relax. So say to yourself,  “head relax”, “shoulders relax”… until you do every part of your body.

Any old stretch will do. I’m sure you have some old standbys. Just get yourself loosened up whether you’re at your desk, around the house or in the car stuck in traffic. Less muscle tension = a more relaxed you!

Shut off that incessant chatter in your brain by focusing intently on anything: a picture, a cloud, a candle.. Now, don’t think.  Not easy I know, but if any thoughts drift into your mind just try to gently let them float by. This can really help clear your mind.

43 Ways to Simply

I think basically everyone today could use some more simplicity in their lives. Don’t you agree? Well here are 43 ways to make your days more simplified from zenfamilyhabits.net.

I just love this list – it has so many small and easily doable changes that can make a huge difference to your quality of life! I’ve bolded some of my favorites…

1. Turn off your cell phone.

2. Process email only twice a day.

3. Go to bed early.

4. Get rid of (or at least reduce) commitments that you do out of obligation.

5. Create a weekly meal plan.

6. Automate your finances.

7. Purge as much unneeded clutter as possible.

8. Keep your paper shredder on top of your recycling bin.

9. Add items you want to a wish list as you think of them.

10. Get a label maker or write labels out by hand.

11. Set your clothes out for the next day the night before.

12. Make your lunch for the next day the night before.

13. Make time to catch up with an old friend.

14. Just say no.

15. Ask for experiences not things for your birthday and Christmas this year.

16. Tell the truth.

17. Keep your list of addresses and phone numbers up to date.

18. Consolidate debt.

19. Create an organizing system that works for you.

20. Keep a bag for garbage in your car.

21. Cary a notebook and pen with you where ever you go.


22. Unsubscribe from emails, newsletters or RSS feeds that don’t provide value anymore.

23. Apologize immediately when you realize you’ve done wrong.

24. Enjoy the present moment as much as you can.

25. Take time to really see the little things in life.

26. Reduce the amount of TV you watch.

27. Get outside.

28. Create morning, daytime, and evening routines.

29. Ask for help.

30. Do things at home as much as possible (eat, date nights, entertain etc.).

31. Don’t get caught up in other people’s drama.

32. Let go of the self-imposed need to be perfect.

33. Focus on a simple, but healthy, eating plan.

34. Share responsibilities.

35. Reduce your wardrobe to a few versatile items.

36. Be positive.

37. Start a gratitude journal.

38. Finish old tasks before taking on new ones.

39. For every new item that enters your home set two free.

40. Want what you have not what you don’t.

41. Revisit what you carry with you in your purse or wallet.

42. Focus on one thing at a time.

43. Store new garbage bags at the bottom of your garbage can.

Quote of the Day

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius

{we heart it}

At times, I definitely catch these words being applicable to myself and others. This quote is a reminder to always keep things simple because there’s nothing to gain by making things unnecessarily complicated!

Here’s a challenge: What are 3 ways you could simplify your life starting today?

Reminder: Take a Deep Breath

For so many of us, the daily stresses of life can lead us to take shorter, shallower breaths. Ironically yet not surprisingly, this kind of breathing only compounds stress in the body, by depriving the cells of oxygen and by not fully exhaling toxins from the lungs.  As few as three deep focused breaths can be extremely calming to your entire body and your mind. So next time you get stressed out, check your breathing – you’ll almost always find it’s shallow and that is the time to stop and take a deep breath.  Please don’t put it off  and remember “Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” {Montaigne}

{via we heart it}


Try alternate nostril breathing! If you’ve done yoga, you might already be familiar with this mellowing technique, which is used to help calm the mind and nervous system. This is one of my favorite things to do to de-stress.  One of the reasons I love it is because it’s so easy to do anytime, anywhere once you get the gist of it..

How to:

*Ideally do this while sitting

  1. Use your right thumb to block your right nostril. Breathe deeply through your left nostril (a count of 4 seconds is good)
  2. Right away, close the left nostril with your right ring finger while simultaneously removing your thumb from your right nostril, and exhale through your right nostril (for a count of 8 seconds).
  3. Inhale through the right nostril (4 seconds), close the right nostril with your thumb, and exhale through the left nostril (8 seconds)

That completes 1 full round. Repeat again if desired.

**Do not attempt if you have a cold or if your nasal passages are blocked in any way!