23 Stress Hacks That Will Actually Change Your Life Easy, breezy, life-changing.
Practice mindful breathing.
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!
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Get in touch with nature.
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!).
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Go for a stroll.
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?!
Make a to-do list.
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.
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Indulge in (a little) wine and chocolate.
We're not saying eat and drink your feelings away. But it's no secret that wine can help take the edge off and chocolate can make you happy. So feel free to indulge in
a little wine and chocolate after a hard day at work.
Get enough sleep.
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.
Treat yourself to pizza and Netflix.
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.
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Get some exercise.
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
Take a warm bath or shower.
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.
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Spend 15 minutes doing something that distracts you.
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!
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Yoga, which is great for your mind and body, emphasizes conscious breathing and meditation techniques that are helpful on and off the mat.
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Lose yourself in music.
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.
Identify what's stressing you out.
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.
Immerse yourself in a good book.
Reading is like a mini vacation for the mind: It'll take your mind off of what's stressing you out and transport you to another world.
Visualize your stress.
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.
Go for a nice, long drive.
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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.)
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Try journaling or writing letters.
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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!"
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Play with your pet.
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Playing with your pet is fun, sure, but it's also relaxing and even therapeutic. Plus, it may also be good for your
cardiovascular system! So go ahead and pet 'em — they'll thank you for it.
Burn candles or incense
Although there's not much
scientific backing for its effectiveness, many people use aromatherapy to alleviate stress and calm nerves. So light a candle, burn some incense, and feel your worries float away.
Do something you have control over.
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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.
Drink less coffee.
If you're feeling stressed out at work, try limiting the number of cups you're throwing back. The CDC reports that drinking caffeinated coffee may make it
With music or without. Solo or with a partner. Let your hair down and just dance. You won’t regret it.
And do something each day just for you.
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.
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