Meditation. Well, it may not be 'stress free' but is definitely touted for it's stress relieving properties. Mom went to Sedona one year and took a meditation workshop. Ever since then, she has been much more disciplined in meditating everyday. Sometimes we meditate to a spoken meditation - like with Deepak Chopra, other times we use this cool pyramid timer that has a great chime telling you when to start and stop. Most of the time though, we turn on our iphone timers for 20 minutes and meditate in silence.
I say silence but it's not exactly silent. First off, the reason one meditates is that frequently there are many thoughts in our head. These thoughts can get very noisy and distracting. Meditating is a way to give your brain a break. For you SAT people, Meditation is to Brain as Massage is to Body. :)
Just when you think you 'got that' concept. You are told to pick a mantra. A mantra is a word you repeat over and over -something to focus on- essentially distracting your brain from your thoughts. I know it all sounds a bit ironic - distracting yourself from distractions, but stick with me. So you pick a mantra like Om - which means Peace, and you say it over and over to yourself silently. When your thoughts distract you, you acknowledge your thoughts - thank them for sharing - and go back to the mantra.
For instance, my meditation this morning went something like this: 'Om... Om... Om... I hope I get steak for dinner tonite... thanks for sharing ...Om... Om.... and if mom would sprinkle cheese on the steak I would be in heaven... Om... Om... Om....Om....Om... Om.... Om... Om...
I was such a good boy this morning when I pooped on the pad so quickly... Om... Om..
As you can see, I had a pretty good run there in the middle, but still my thoughts continued to pop up. But I learned not to get upset - just acknowledge and move on. Eventually your thoughts interrupt less and less. It's a process, so I just go with it. And it really works. I always feel much more focused and alert and calmer afterwards. If only that delivery guy hadn't rung the door bell afterwards, causing me to bark and bark and bark. I couldn't help it! I guess I'll just try and fit in another meditation later.