BREW A CUPPA
Peppermint tea, in particular, is a natural muscle relaxant, and it won’t get you all revved on caffeine. But lay off this one if you’re pregnant and dunk a bag of chamomile instead.
CRANK YOUR TUNES
Music has long been known for its relaxing and restorative powers Beyoncé, Beethoven, Bieber… turn up whatever takes your fancy. MOVE IT MOVE IT
Not only does exercise lower our stress hormones, it also stimulates the production of lovely, mood-elevating endorphins. The couch will beckon when you’re stressed but hear us out, because the psychological benefits of exercise are worth the effort – and everything from a stroll to a full-blown sweat session, particularly barre ;) , works.
BE A BOOK WORM
Researchers found it took participants only six minutes to relax once they started page-turning. So stick your nose in a novel or mag and get flipping.
CALL A FRIEND
A problem shared is a problem halved ain’t a cliché for no reason - so pick up the phone and get gas-bagging. Giving your stress some airtime will make sure it won’t get worse, but make sure you blow off that steam with someone you feel you can trust.
HUG IT OUT
Hugs are known to lower levels of stress hormones, Don’t stop there, research has shown that if you throw in some handholding you’ll further reduce the effects of stress.
BREATHE IN AND OUT
Simple, no? The American Institute of Stress outlines that 20 to 30 minutes of deep abdominal breathing reduces anxiety and stress, but if the reality of spending this much time in the company of your own lungs has you hyperventilating, channel a little Darth Vader and take six to 10 drawn-out breaths per minute, for 10 minutes each day. It’ll get your vitals chilling almost instantly.
DEPLOY AN ART ATTACK
Forty-five minutes of creative activity has been proven to significantly lessen stress, whether you’re Monet or… not.
PUT IT IN WRITING
Putting stressors down in black and white on paper takes the sting out of them, and drags your head out of its angry place and into the present challenge of writing without predictive text and spell check (remember that?).
GRIN AND BEAR IT
A US study found that smiling reduces stress and makes you feel happier. So grit those teeth and turn that frown upside down. Heck, you might even make someone else’s day brighter in the process.