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Stress-Easing Strategies

You know stress is bad for you: It's been tied to everything from sleepless nights to heart disease. But what can a superbusy mom do to relax just a little bit?

Live in the crazy moment, says Sarah Napthali, a mom of two and the author of Buddhism for Mothers:

1. Observe without judging. If you take your kids to a friend's house and they start to get wild with their pals, don't rush to reprimand them. As long as nothing's breaking, watch them have fun instead of telling them to quiet down.

2. Become aware of tension that builds up in your body during the day. From time to time, ask yourself, "Do I feel relaxed?" If you don't, figure out where the tension is. Once you locate it, take a moment to breathe deeply and release it.

3. Look, listen, smell, touch. If you're taking a walk with your child, clear your mind and really notice your surroundings: the rustle of the breeze in the trees or your reflection in a puddle. Taking pleasure in simple wonders will help you relax and feel calm.

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