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23 Stress Hacks That Will Actually Change Your Life

Easy, breezy, life-changing.

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1. Practice mindful breathing.

BBC

Focusing on your breathing takes your mind off of what's stressing you out. Inhale for six seconds; hold your breath for seven; then exhale for eight. Research shows that mindfulness may improve your concentration, reduce stress, and even alter the structure of your brain!

Submitted by Kymberley Jamieson, Facebook

2. Get in touch with nature.

Via i.imgur.com

Being outdoors can offer a much-needed break from the mayhem of everyday life. Research indicates that spending time outside may also be associated with increased vitality. So whether it's gardening, taking pictures, or just walking around, get out there and smell the roses (really!).

Submitted by Tina Bowen, Facebook

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3. Go for a stroll.

ABC

It's one of the best and easiest ways of managing stress. Research suggests that physical activity encourages the production of endorphins, commonly called the feel-good hormone, in the brain. And who doesn't want to feel good?!

Submitted by Karolina

4. Make a to-do list.

Footprint Features

Breaking tasks down into smaller steps makes them feel more manageable. Make a list of things you need to do, prioritize them, and then do the most important tasks first.

Submitted by Rachael Crawley, Facebook

6. Get enough sleep.

Disney

Sleep and stress go hand in hand, one affecting the other. Try meditating before bed to reduce nighttime stress first. Then, make sure you're getting enough sleep so that you're not stressed out the next day.

Submitted by Angelica

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7. Treat yourself to pizza and Netflix.

Fox

Sometimes the solution to stress is as simple as a medium cheese pizza and an episode of Friends. So kick back, relax, and pig out.

Submitted by Swapnil Arora, Facebook

8. Get some exercise.

Via fitties.co.vu

Whether you're going to the gym or going for a jog, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Working out won't get rid of your responsibilities, but they'll definitely feel more manageable once you get the endorphins flowing!

Submitted by Claire

9. Take a warm bath or shower.

NBC

Bathing is often just an obligatory part of our hurried daily routine. It shouldn't be. Taking a warm bath or shower is a great way to show yourself some love and wash away the day's worries.

Submitted by Chantal Eden, Facebook

10. Spend 15 minutes doing something that distracts you.

Disney

It can be anything from playing a musical instrument to painting to knitting. Doing something you love distracts you from your worries. Plus, 15 minutes is such a small amount of time that you won't feel guilty about wasting it!

Submitted by Sarah Kelley, Facebook

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12. Lose yourself in music.

Fox

Music can transport you to the most wonderful and peaceful places. Some people find soft jazz eases their worries, while others prefer to blast their favorite tunes and block out everything else.

Submitted by Cody

13. Identify what's stressing you out.

NBC

Make a list of everything that's stressing you out. Then, separate it into things you can and cannot control. Many times, you'll find that your stress derives mostly from things beyond your control. Finally, rip up or burn the list at the same time that you resolve to let go of your stress.

Submitted by Hannah

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15. Visualize your stress.

Disney

Because stress is a feeling, it often seems hard to manage. Create a mental image for your stress, letting it be as big as it feels. Finally, practice deep breathing and visualize your stress shrinking as you breathe out.

Submitted by Alexandra

16. Go for a nice, long drive.

YouTube: fnsonicrick / Via youtube.com

Get in your car, put on your favorite music, and go for a drive. Sing along at the top of your lungs. If the weather's nice, let the windows down and feel the breeze brush across your skin. (Disclaimer: This tip is more for clearing your mind, rather than calming your anxiety. If you feel panicky or out of control, don't get behind the wheel.)

Submitted by Casey Bishop, Facebook

17. Try journaling or writing letters.

Malone University / Via malone.edu

Don't let stress bottle up inside you. Instead, vent with a pen and paper. As Sara Bareilles sings, "Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out!"

Submitted by Justine Roberts, Facebook

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20. Do something you have control over.

Sony Music Entertainment

A lot of stress comes from situations beyond your control. Try taking on — and completing — a small task that's within your control, like cooking or organizing. You'll feel better once you've got it accomplished.

Submitted by Lindsy

23. And do something each day just for you.

NBC

Set aside time each day to do something just for you — it doesn't matter if you're stressed at the moment or not. Listen to music; sit quietly with a cup of tea; do anything that gives you piece of mind.

Submitted by Chelsea

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