10 Ways to Reduce Stress Now

No matter who you are or what you do, you feel the effects of stress. Stress affects our bodies and minds negatively, sometimes even manifesting in physical symptoms. There may be no way to avoid stress because it comes with living life, but there are ways to instantly reduce that physical and mental heaviness that you can practice every day to lighten up your mood.

  1. Reach out and touch someone: Physical contact is proven to help lower stress-causing hormones. Holding hands, hugging, and kissing are all great ways to relieve stress. Grab your loved one and hold on tight.
  2. Get Physical: Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Getting your blood flowing a your l breath going is a great way to clear your head. You don’t have to run or do heavy physical activity if that’s not your thing; yoga, walking and even cleaning the house can cure that stressful feeling.
  3. Just Breathe: We all breathe, but how many times a day (or week) do you sit and focus on deep, slow breathing? Research shows that just 2 minutes a day of deep breathing can lower your heart rate and blood pressure as well as reduce stress. Inhale through your nose and exhale deeply shutting out distractions.
  4. Slow Down: Life moves quickly and most of us are probably guilty of not being “present”. Try 5 minutes of being aware of what’s happening around you. Put the distractions away and just be in the moment of what’s happening around you – you’ll enjoy things more.
  5. Ditch the Junk: Eating healthfully is hard when you’re stressed – comfort food is extremely appealing. But filling up on fatty, greasy or sugar filled foods will actually raise your stress level (and most likely the number on the scale). Try keeping the stress snacks out of the house and reaching for fruits, veggies, lean protein or whole grains. Food high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like tuna, is proven to help reduce your stress hormones.
  6. Rock Out: When you’re feeling the pressure, listening to soothing music can help clear your mind… And so can rocking out to your favourite band. Crank it up, dance around or sing your heart out!  (This also counts towards your daily exercise!)
  7. Have a Chat: Sometimes you just need to talk it out. Give your best bud a call and unload your woes. It can be very therapeutic to just “get it off your chest” and talk about work, life or home stresses.
  8. LOL: Laughing out loud immediately decreases adrenaline and cortisol – two stress causing hormones in your body. Dig up your favourite comedy, pop some corn and let loose if you’ve got the time.
  9. Find Time to Relax: Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, doing something relaxing like laying down with a heat wrap or taking a hot bath can melt stress away in no time. If you’ve got a little more time and some extra cash kicking around, book yourself a monthly massage.
  10. Chew Gum: Chewing sugarless gum can relieve stress, it tastes good and it can help prevent cavities. Enough said.

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