2 Dozen Ways to Show Stress Who's Boss

POPSUGAR FitnessSource: 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.

  • Inhale, exhale, and repeat: This will immediately slow things down and help you regroup.
  • 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!
  • Step outside: Head outside for some fresh air - it will energize you.
  • Turn off your phone: If emails and texts are the source of stress, turn off your phone (especially before bed).
  • 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.
  • Jump on YouTube: Go online to watch a few funny (cat) videos. Laughter instantly reduces stress hormones.
  • Reward yourself: If you've been working hard, treat yourself to a manicure, facial, or your favorite meal. You deserve it.
  • Turn up the tunes: Research has shown that lying down and listening to music is as effective as massage.
  • Take a nap: Sleep it off. A power nap will help you rest up and reset for the remainder of the day.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Say thank you: Returning your focus back to what you are thankful for rather than your stresses will calm you down almost immediately.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Laugh: Laugh it out by looking at a few old photos or watching home videos. Smiles guaranteed.
  • 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.
  • Smile: Fake it till you make it with a smile. Studies show that smiling reduces stress almost instantly.
  • Puppy love: Petting a dog or cat will instantly calm your nerves and lower your blood pressure.
  • 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.
  • Study up: No joke - reading these 15 facts will make you feel instantly happier.
  • Take a coffee break: Stepping away for a coffee or tea fix will help you feel refreshed and more awake (of course!).
  • 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.