Muscles tighten during the course of the day, and when we feel stressed out, the process accelerates. Stretching loosens muscles and encourages deep breathing. Molly Fox, creative fitness director at the Equinox Fitness Center in New York City, says one of the greatest stress-relieving stretches is a yoga position called the child pose, which stretches the back muscles. On a rug or mat, kneel, sit back on your heels, then lean forward and put your forehead on the floor and your arms alongside your legs, palms up. Hold for one to three minutes. If you have a little more time to stretch, try our 10-minute yoga workout.
Say a little prayerfrancescoch
Organized religion may be losing members, but prayer is more popular than ever. Studies show that compared with those who profess no faith, religious and spiritual people are calmer and healthier.
“Looking forward to something provides calming perspective,” Dr. Elkin says. Buying concert tickets, scheduling a weekend getaway, or making an appointment for a massage are all great ways of managing stress. (Here are some things successful people do on the weekend.)