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It's no wonder that most of us feel stressed out. Modern lifestyles - being in heavy traffic, crowded malls, waiting in line-ups all cause a build up of tension. This tension needs to be released.

Meditation is one way of relieving stress. Though there are many forms of meditation, it can be very simple.

Basically, you sit quietly and focus on something such as your breathing. Take a few deep, slow breaths to begin, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Then, just be aware of your breathing without trying to control it. Breath through your nose.

Don't concern yourself with any thoughts that may wander into your mind - just keep focusing on your breathing. It is helpful to focus on the word in when you inhale and the word out when you exhale (or any word or phrase you want to pick).

Although a quiet and comfortable spot is preferable, you can meditate anywhere. Imagining being surrounded by mountains, trees, or watching the waves roll in at the beach can help you meditate. You either close your eyes or leave them open and focus on an object.

Take 20 minutes once or twice a day to meditate.
If this seems like too much time, start with five or ten minutes per day. If you feel you don't have the time or patience to meditate you really need to learn to let yourself unwind.

Other relaxation techniques that can be self-taught are deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

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