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De-Stress Instantly

Your kid is whining, the cookies are burning -- and you're at the end of your rope. Breathe yourself calm with this simple do-anywhere, do-anytime exercise from Woodson Merrell, M.D., coauthor of The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger (out this month from Free Press). It will slow your pulse, lower your blood pressure, and tame tension -- in no time.

1) Sit up straight, shoulders back.
2) Inhale slowly and deeply to the count of four, filling your belly with air.
3) Hold for one count.
4) Exhale slowly and completely, to the count of six. Allow your shoulders to relax (but don't let them slump forward).
5) Pause for one count. Repeat four times.
6) Enjoy a moment of nirvana before jumping back into the fray.

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