You know it when you feel it. Suddenly, your shoulders are tense, your stomach tightens, your breathing is shallow and you've run out of patience. Stress is at the root of it, trying to get your attention. Once it does, follow these ten simple steps to release yourself from the confines of your tension and connect with the very heart of you:

1. First, give yourself permission to take a break from the busy-ness (business) of your day.

2. Close your eyes and tune in to the rhythm of your breathing. Take a full, deep, nourishing inhalation, feeling the cool air flow in through your nose. Bring the breath as deep into your belly as you can.

3. Exhale slowly and fully, feeling the difference in the temperature of the air as you let it out. Take three or four more breaths with this concentration.

4. Open your eyes and notice how you feel.

5. Stand up and feel your feet solidly on the floor and imagine strong roots growing from the soles of your feet deep into the earth below.

6. Take a break and go outside, regardless of the weather, and take a few deep breaths of fresh air. Again, feel your connection to the earth beneath your feet.

7. Spend a few minutes outside. Take a walk (even just around the block) and focus on all of the visual details – your neighbor's birch tree, a passing bird, the blue car, a puffy cloud. Any time you find yourself thinking of shopping lists, carpools, credit card bills or any other distraction, gently bring your focus back to noticing the walk.

8. When you return home or back to the office, make yourself a cup of herbal tea (skip the caffeine for now), and spend a few minutes tuning into your thoughts. What are you saying to you? Are you critical and judgmental or gentle and loving?

9. Rub the palms of your hands together for a few seconds until they are warm. Place your right hand on your breastbone, in the center of your chest. Now, place your left hand on your solar plexus, located in the center of the upside-down "U" formed by your ribs. Close your eyes and breathe into your hands. Feel the warmth of them, the comfort of them.

10. Allow your mind to become quiet, simply feeling connected and calm. Congratulations. You are there, at your center, stress free, alert and ready to do whatever needs to be done.

©2008 Sandi Kimmel

Author's Bio: 

Sandi Kimmel is a Musical Motivational Speaker and Joy Maker, using her songs, her words and her heart to light the path for readers and audiences worldwide. Called "a lifeguard in a sea of negativity," she has been on the Law of Attraction path for many years, and together with her husband, Patrick Murphy, provide tips and techniques on how to find better feeling thoughts on the journey to authenticity.