Munch some snacks
bhofack2Foods that are high in carbohydrates stimulate the release of serotonin, feel-good brain chemicals that help induce calm, says Dr. Cooper. Crackers, pretzels, or a bagel should do the trick. Be careful not to eat too many carbs, though. They can just increase your appetite instead of managing stress.
Boost your vitamin intake
jaker5000Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Food and Mood, recommends that women take a daily multivitamin and mineral formula that contains between 100 percent and 300 percent of the recommended dietary allowances of vitamin B, as well as calcium, magnesium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Stay away from stress formulas, which often contain large amounts of randomly formulated nutrients, such as the B vitamins, but little or nothing else, Somer says. If you already take vitamins, you could be making some drastic vitamin mistakes without knowing it.
PeopleImagesIf sex has been on the bottom of your to-do list for too long, move it to the top. Sex increases levels of endorphins, those mood-boosting chemicals in the brain, and it's one of the best total-body relaxers around, says Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a sex therapist in Sacramento, California. Make a date with your mate, and don't let anything get in the way. Here are other surprising health benefits of having sex.
laflorEach of us has uniquely individual stress signals: neck or shoulder pain, shallow breathing, stammering, teeth gritting, queasiness, loss of temper. (If you tend to lose your temper, here are some ways to control it.) Learn to identify yours, then say out loud, "I'm feeling stressed," when they crop up, recommends Dr. Rosch. Recognizing your personal stress signals helps in managing stress and slows the buildup of negativity and anxiety.
gawravLook 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!
PeopleImagesBy 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.)
Take a walk
davidfWalking 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.)
Soak it up
JazzIRT"When I have the time, nothing is more stress relieving for me than a hot bath," Dr. Weston says. "But when I don't have time, I do the next-best thing: I wash my face or even just my hands and arms with hot water. The key is to imagine that I'm taking a hot bath. It's basically a visualization exercise, but the hot water makes it feel real." Check out these tips to make managing stress even easier by making your bath as relaxing as possible.
Play a few bars
OinegueListening to classical music is more than just a pleasant experience; it’s a healthy one. A number of recent studies have shown that music can do everything from slow heart rate to increase endorphins. Good bets: Bach's Air on the G-String, Beethoven's Pastorale symphony, Chopin's Nocturne in G, Handel's Water Music, or pianist George Winston's CDs Autumn or December. Here are some more incredible health benefits of listening to music.
Fall for puppy love
golfyinterludeIn a study of 100 women conducted last year at the State University of New York at Buffalo, researchers found that those who owned a dog had lower blood pressure than those who didn't. If you don't have a pooch, visit a friend's. According to researchers, petting an animal for just a couple of minutes helps in managing stress along with having plenty of other health benefits.