Have Fun and De-Stress

Stressed Woman

A nationwide survey reports that 47 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their lives. The same study also found that people experiencing stress are more likely to report other health problems like hypertension, anxiety, depression and obesity. Any good news? Yes! There are simple and fun stress-busting techniques that can calm you down.

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Lighten Up It turns out that laughter, especially a good belly laugh, helps release stress-busting endorphins. But if a Woody Allen movie or a stand-up comic's routine doesn't do it for you, consider looking into a session of laughing yoga. Classes are popping up all over the place. Check with your local Y, community or senior center.

Sit Still Numerous scientific studies show meditation is one of the best ways to relax your mind and body and enable you to counter the effects of stress. There are several different techniques for meditating. You can just sit quietly and "watch" your breath, or repeat a word. If you're feeling too edgy for the silence, play relaxing music in the background. If you start worrying about something, watch the thought and then imagine it's a cloud passing by. Whatever type of meditation you choose, ultimately it will help you connect to the present and cultivate a calmer attitude.

Splurge On A Massage Therapeutic touch is one of the best ways to relax tense muscles and clear a stressed mind. Massage is frequently recommended to patients by their doctors as a complementary therapy to medical treatments, especially to help relieve anxiety and tension.

Be A Queen For A Day Pampering yourself is one of the best ways to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body. Not only will a mani or pedi make you feel more attractive but it means you'll have to take time out from your daily chores and just sit back and relax.

Watch Fish Swimming Researchers have compared the effects of hypnosis vs. an aquarium, "fishless" vs. fish-filled aquariums, and no aquarium vs. having an aquarium. In all cases, having some sort of aquarium reduced blood pressure and stress. Even watching a videotape of fish has been proven to have stress- reducing effects.