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Printable Jigsaw Sudoku Puzzle

Let’s face it, planning a wedding has to be one of the most stressful things you can do. What’s the solution? Well, for some couples, the solution is to leave town and elope. And, that’s a perfectly fine solution. But, for others, a big wedding is important, and something not to miss. For those people, a little stress management is in order.

Whatever the cause, stress and anxiety can be managed by some simple steps.

1. Eat Right

That is, don’t overload on sweets and other “comfort” foods. Why is this important? A healthy and balanced diet can reduce the effects that our bodies experience when under stress.

2. Exercise

Again, exercise can reduce the effects of stress. When we exercise we use energy, and this energy we expend can actually drain stress right out of our bodies. How much exercise do we need to combat stress? Not really that much. In fact, a simple walk in the morning of at least 15 minutes can help reduce stress levels.

3. Breathe

You probably think you don’t need to be reminded to breathe; after all, you need to breathe to live, right? However, when you’re stressed you’re probably hyperventilating or taking quick, shallow breaths, when what you really need to do is slow down and take several slow, deep breaths. And, by deep breaths, I’m talking expanding-your-stomach kind of breaths. Slowly. Letting your breath out – slowly.

4. Distract Yourself

Take a moment to read something other than wedding magazines. Read a novel. Put together a jigsaw puzzle, or solve a crossword puzzle or Sudoku. Force yourself to take a break from wedding planning.

5. Use Relaxation Techniques

If you can and there’s one available, take a class in yoga, meditation or self-hypnosis. These are all excellent techniques to slow down and relax. With self-hypnosis, which is more focused and directed than meditation, you can program yourself to be more relaxed during the day. While in hypnosis you can use an “anchoring” device (such as touching your finger to your thumb) combined with a word, such as “relax” that you can program yourself to use in your waking hours whenever you find yourself getting stressed out. If you find yourself getting distracted during self-hypnosis, and there are registered hypnotists or hypnotherapists available in your area, visit one who can make a personalized hypnosis CD for you so you can listen on a daily basis. Or, purchase a mass-produced relaxation CD. There are many fine generic ones on the market today which will help you learn to relax.

Planning a wedding can be a special and fun event in your life. The key is to gain control over the stress, rather than let it control you.

Shari Hearn is a writer, certified hypnotist and creator of and