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3 Mental Rules to Help You Understand (and Finally Relax) Your Busy Brain When trying to relax stresses you out even more, these little-known principles are the key to calm.

By Leah Borski

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A client of mine, let's call her Sandra, came to me for help to handle high levels of stress in her life. She's the CEO of a 70-employee company in a male-dominated industry. That in itself was a lot of pressure. Add the strain of balancing work from home with parenting two small children. In her words, she wanted to be able to create her own calm during the chaos.

She felt so overwhelmed, that we needed a simple launch point to relieve her stress. I advised her to start by taking a five-minute relaxation break during each workday. I gave her solid strategies to weave it into her existing schedule right away. For example, we planned the break during regular lulls in her daily itinerary. She didn't need to rearrange her whole life to do this. With a little back and forth, we discovered early afternoon should work best. She never scheduled meetings then and her kids usually took a nap after lunch.

But at our next session, she confided that she was struggling. Instead of helping her relax, the downtime seemed to add to her stress. Her busy brain raced out of control. It clamored on about the meeting she just led, her afternoon agenda, what to cook for dinner, etc.