by Marisa Conrad, REDBOOKShutting down stress and boosting your mood can be as simple as getting dressed in the morning. Try these tweaks to your daily routine to leave your inner Negative Nancy in the dust.
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1. STRIKE A POSE
Your neighbor yammers nonstop about her yoga class, but is it really more calming than your treadmill time? Most definitely. A new study from Boston University found that people who twisted, toe-touched, and tree-posed three days a week felt more positive and less anxious than those who walked for the same amount of time. Why? The combination of focus, slow breathing, and stretching make you feel relaxed and loose. For free yoga workouts, try the Yogamazing podcast on iTunes, or try our favorite moves at redbookmag.com/exercisevideos.
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2. GET SOME LOVIN'
If you or your guy are prone to anxiety or a temper, having sex more often may make you both happier, a study in Social Psychological and Personality Science found. The more often newlywed couples knocked boots during the first four years of marriage, the more satisfied they were in their unions, whether or not their partner was occasionally edgy. A romp cancels out negative emotions with a rush of oxytocin, dubbed the "love hormone" because it makes you feel calm and content.
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3. SAY A LITTLE PRAYER
Having a silent conversation with a loving figure (whether it's God, the universe, or your aunt who passed away) can beat back gloom, a new study from the University of Wisconsin, Madison found. The meditative qualities of prayer have a calming effect on the brain and body. Plus, letting everything out helps wash away negative feelings, says researcher Shane Sharp.
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4. TOSS YOUR GRANNY PANTIES
Consumer Reports recently tackled perhaps its raciest topic ever: underwear! Almost 30 percent of women polled said that wearing unattractive or ill-fitting undies bums them out, and 47 percent said putting on a "special" pair gives them a boost.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.