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Easy Stress Relievers

2 Dozen Ways to Show Stress Who's Boss

In all honesty, we're heading into the most stressful time of the year . . . the holidays! While stress is unavoidable and completely normal, there are a few ways — 24, to be exact — that will help you remain calm, cool, and collected. Whether you choose to sweat it out or take 10 minutes for a good laugh, these stress busters are here to help. Now breathe.

  1. Inhale, exhale, and repeat: This will immediately slow things down and help you regroup.
  2. Make a list: Just jotting everything down will help you get organized and see things differently. As a list, your stresses may not look so bad after all!
  3. Step outside: Head outside for some fresh air — it will energize you.
  4. Turn off your phone: If emails and texts are the source of stress, turn off your phone (especially before bed).
  5. Do Downward Dog: A beginner-friendly, relaxing yoga sequence will relax muscles, release tension, and help get your head in a happier place. Just 20 minutes is all you need to revitalize your body through yoga.
  6. Jump on YouTube: Go online to watch a few funny (cat) videos. Laughter instantly reduces stress hormones.
  7. Reward yourself: If you've been working hard, treat yourself to a manicure, facial, or your favorite meal. You deserve it.
  8. Turn up the tunes: Research has shown that lying down and listening to music is as effective as massage.
  9. Take a nap: Sleep it off. A power nap will help you rest up and reset for the remainder of the day.
  10. Hit the gym: There's nothing a sweat session can't solve. If you're feeling anxious, raising your heart rate and taking time to zone out with exercise will relieve the stress, anxiety, and tension holding you back.
  11. Vent (to an extent): Call a friend who will simply listen. Talking it out with someone you trust may lead to a solution — or at the very least calm you down.
  12. Sip up: Sipping a cup of black tea is known to have a positive effect on stress hormone levels in the body, ultimately reducing blood of the stress hormone cortisol.
  13. Give yourself a mini massage: Acupressure is a great way to relieve stress. Try relaxing by adding pressure to the little mound of flesh where your thumb meets your palm (also known as the union valley). Hold for 30 seconds.
  14. Say thank you: Returning your focus back to what you are thankful for rather than your stresses will calm you down almost immediately.
  15. Reach for a (healthy) snack: Although a handful of M&M's tastes amazing, foods rich in vitamin C have been proven to help reduce both the physical and mental symptoms of stress.
  16. Stretch it out: Ever notice how everything seems tight when you're stressed? A few of your favorite stretches should have everything opening up in no time!
  17. Laugh: Laugh it out by looking at a few old photos or watching home videos. Smiles guaranteed.
  18. Organize: Take a few minutes to organize something manageable, like your desk. Once you see everything back in place, it will feel like a fresh start.
  19. Smile: Fake it till you make it with a smile. Studies show that smiling reduces stress almost instantly.
  20. Puppy love: Petting a dog or cat will instantly calm your nerves and lower your blood pressure.
  21. Practice perfect posture: Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. Stand or sit up straight to feel taller and breathe better.
  22. Study up: No joke — reading these 15 facts will make you feel instantly happier.
  23. Take a coffee break: Stepping away for a coffee or tea fix will help you feel refreshed and more awake (of course!).
  24. Just pause: This may be the hardest "buster" to try, yet it is the most important. Whatever you do, don't lash out. Anger leads to regret and added stress.
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