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Messed in the head? Try these 12 ways to de-stress yourself

Whether it’s related to an issue at work, a fight with a friend, or problems with family, everyone feels stressed sometimes. While therapy can help (come on, everyone’s thought about laying on that infamous doctor’s couch at some point), most solutions (think talk therapy or medication) are dealt with in the long-term. 
 
So what can be done in the next five minutes to reduce — and prevent — stress? Here’s our list of the ways to decrease stress right now:
 
1. Try progressive relaxation: All the way from fingers to toes—tense and then release each muscle group in the body (lower arm, upper arm, chest, back and abdominals, etc.). Once the body is relaxed, the mind will be soon to follow.
 
2. Try some Yoga: The combination of deep breathing techniques and poses makes this activity work to reduce stress.
 
3. Meditate: The “mental silence” that goes along with meditation may have positive effects on stress (especially work-related stress).
 
4. Breathe deep: Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Studies suggest deep breathing can also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. 
 
5. Spark some scents: Studies suggest aromatherapy can be a good way to relieve stress. Certain aromas (like lavender) have been consistently shown to reduce stress levels. 
 
6. Listen to music: Research points to multiple ways in which music can help relieve stress, from triggering bio-chemical stress reducers to assisting in treating stress associated with medical procedures.
 
7. Laugh it off: Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress (like fatigue) on the body.
 
8. Exercise: That post-exercise endorphin rush is one way to sharply cut stress. 
 
9. Try guided visualization: Visualizing a calm or peaceful scene may help reduce stress and ease anxiety. 
 
10. Hang out with friends or with your pet: If you feel like talking about what’s bothering you, tell your friends and they’ll listen. There no better therapy than sharing with your loved ones. Or, i you have your furry friend, you can offload your stress by spending sometime with your pet. 
 
11. Paint or work on an art project: Draw, paint, sketch or make things that will require you to focus on anything other than your stress-inducing cause. 
 
12. Write it out: Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects.

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