My Q Health | 23 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now
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23 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now

23 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now

Whether it’s related to an issue at work, a fight with a friend, or problems with family, everyone feels stressed sometimes. In fact, 54 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their daily lives. And 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 Greatist 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 light yoga. The combination of deep breathing techniques and poses makes this activity work to reduce stress, too .

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 biochemical 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. Drink tea. One study found that drinking black tea leads to lower post-stress cortisol levels and greater feelings of relaxation .

9. Exercise. That post-exercise endorphin rush is one way to sharply cut stress.

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