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Stress is one of the challenges of a modern, busy life. The increases in heart rate and blood pressure that are part of the stress response are part of the body’s natural way to deal with danger. However, our bodies do not do a good job of separating a real threat, like a wild animal, from a perceived danger, like an angry email or missed deadline. Managers and executives deal with this kind of mental stress on a regular basis, and it can have serious effects on their health and wellbeing. Here are four techniques to deal with daily stress.

Find a Meditation Space

Meditation is another common way to deal with stress. By studying meditation, you are learning how to refocus and slow down your mind. The rapid thoughts that come with stress are allowed to pass. The more adept you become at the practice, the easier it becomes to enter that quiet, single-minded state. If you have trouble sitting still, yoga classes often combine a time of meditation with physical activity.

Breathe Deeply

The first step in dealing with stress is slowing yourself down. Although it is difficult to control your heart rate or blood pressure, you can control your breathing. When you feel stressed, take three deep breaths. With each breath, you will slow down and feel a little more in control. Try it now!

Head to the Woods

Spending time in the woods has been found to be a surprisingly effective way to deal with stress. As you walk down a woodland trail, you step away from the stressful situations. The sounds and smells of nature surround you, pulling you away from anxiety. The air is cleaner, and the world is calmer among the trees.  You do not have to travel far — most areas have nature preserves and trails nearby, even in the desert here in Arizona.

Schedule a Regular Spa Visit

Visiting a spa is a great way to recharge your batteries. These facilities offer many options for stress relief including massages, hot springs, and saunas. A sauna with a wood-burning heater is a time-tested solution to help clear your mind and relax your body. As you sit in the warm room listening to the cracking and popping of burning wood in the sauna heater, you cannot help but relax. Follow that sauna with a cold dip in a pool or lake and you will be energized for your next project. For the ultimate experience, try a retreat that combines personal growth with spa time.

As a business executive, you have many things on your plate. The stress that comes with making tough decisions and meeting expectations is inescapable. When you learn to slow down and step away from stress, you will be a better and more productive leader.

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