Stress can manifest itself in numerous ways, both in the longterm and short. Whether you’re having a tough time unwinding after a long week, or you’re preparing for a big presentation, too much exposure to stress hormones can put you at risk for certain health problems such as anxiety and depression.
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1 minute: Breathe
Place one hand an inch about your belly button. Inhale for a count of four. Your belly should expand by about an inch.
2 minutes: Eat a little chocolate
One study found that eating 1.4 oz. of dark chocolate a day for two weeks helped reduce stress hormones. Or, try eating one square mindfully, without any distraction.
3 minutes: Stare at a picture of a snowflake
Or a nautilus shell, fern branch, or lightening strike. Their fractal patterns can help your mind unwind.
10 minutes: Make Art
One study found that arts and crafts helped relax people who were caring for cancer-stricken relatives. Try an adult coloring book.
15 minutes: Brew some tea
Green, black, or chamomile tea all show promise in relieving stress symptoms.
20 minutes: Get outside
Taking a walk can increase your levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps the brain deal with stress. Also, doing light activity outdoors has been shown to boost mood and energy.