Look out the window and find something natural that captures your imagination, advises Dr. Sobel. Notice the clouds rolling by or the wind in the trees. Who knew spacing out could be so beneficial to managing stress? Plus, daydreaming means you’re smart!
By now most of us know about the calming properties (and health benefits) of chamomile tea. But a steaming cup of catnip, passionflower, skullcap or kava kava also work, according to Dr. Duke. Whether you use tea bags or loose tea (one teaspoon of tea per cup of boiling water), steep for about 10 minutes to get the full benefits of the herbs. (You might even want to try cooking with tea.)
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Walking forces you to breathe more deeply and improves circulation, says Dr. Cooper, among other health benefits of walking for 15 minutes. Step outside if you can; if that’s not possible, you can gain many of the same benefits simply by walking to the bathroom or water cooler, or by pacing back and forth. “The key is to get up and move,” Dr. Cooper says. (Exercise makes your brain better, too.)