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Don’t Panic! 8 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

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According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), 60 percent of all human illness is a result of stress. Don’t let that statistic stress you out, because there are some simple ways to beat the stress without letting it overwhelm you. The answer is not to pop some pharmaceutical creation that will create a new dependency. Reclaim control of your mind and body by understanding the connections that cause stress. Here are some things you can do now to relieve some of your mental and body tension.

8. Be Nice to Yourself

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All of the techniques listed are ways of being nice to you. It may sound cliche, and even hard to implement. It is important for your psyche to have time for you. According to the AIS, workload causes 46 percent of stress, while another 20 percent pertains to the struggle of attempting to juggle work and personal relationships. Another 6 percent pertains to lack of job security, leaving only 28 percent that is a result of personal relationships. It is vital that you have time in your schedule to be present, and to enjoy the moment as it is.

7. Deep Breathing

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Studies have shown that even one session of slow breathing can temporarily lower blood pressure. Place your focus on your lungs as you begin a slow, deep inhale. Your lungs fill and your belly expands outward. Keep breathing in until your lungs are at full capacity. Then begin a slow exhale and continue until all of the air has exited your lungs. When you place all of your focus on your breathing, the mental calamity will start to melt away.

6. Watch What You Eat

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Everything that you put into your body affects how your body performs. Since stress is most often linked with a lack of time or having too many commitments, it is more difficult to find the time to eat healthy food. Avoid those vending machine foods, and go for an apple or banana instead. Take the time to eat something that provides vitamins and minerals rather than refined sugars and processed ‘junk.’ Stress is also linked to constipation, which may be a result of eating more junk food during periods of high pressure.

5. Laugh

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Laughter really is the best medicine. When you’re engaged with belly laughter, this eases the tension you feel from the stress and moves you away from your mental thoughts. Instead of being focused on consequences and responsibilities, the laughter allows you to experience the present moment while decreasing stress hormones. Find opportunities to laugh throughout your day by incorporating playful interactions into your routine. Smiling and laughing boost your immune system and trigger feel-good endorphins that promotes overall health and wellness. Look around the Internet for your medicine of choice, whether it be videos of cats or a stand-up comedy routine.

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