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12 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

Find a Green Space

Walking in nature relieves tension, decreases frustration and increases calm feelings.  No time to find a park?  Even five minutes outside boosts our moods.

 

Take a YouTube Break

Just make sure it’s funny.  A good belly laugh increases oxygen intake, relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure, reduces cortisol levels and releases natural painkillers.  Even a few minutes of laughter is a terrific stress reliever.

 

Breathe Like a Lion

Try this yoga breath to immediately relieve tension in the jaw, chest and face.  Take a deep breath through your nose, filling your chest and belly with air, then stick out your tongue as far as possible toward your chin and exhale with a loud “ha” sound.  It also helps prevent neck wrinkles!

 

Give a Bear Hug

A nice big squeeze will reduce your heart rate and cortisol levels, and trigger the release of the warm and fuzzy love hormone oxytocin.  Muscles relax and nerves are soothed.  No hug-worthy friends close by?  Shaking hands works, too.

 

Hang With Friends

Buddies buffer stress by reducing cortisol and increasing the body’s natural opiates.  Regard being with pals as a daily medication.

 

Eat a Square of Chocolate

Not only is it rich in healthy flavonols, but cocoa consumption also increases nitric oxide in the blood, opening blood vessels and reducing blood pressure.  What’s more, it causes the brain to release feel-good endorphins.

 

Pet Your Pet

Stroking a furry friend reduces blood pressure and stress levels.  No pets at home?  Volunteer at an animal shelter.

 

Give Back

People who engage in meaningful and purposeful activities-such as helping others-have improved immunity and lower levels of inflammation.

 

Get Dirty

The good bacteria in dirt increase the release of serotonin and improve mood in the same way antidepressants do, research finds.  So plant something beautiful this spring.  Your stress levels will drop as your garden blooms.

 

Get Good Sleep

Too much cortisol contributes to nighttime wakefulness and worries that keep your brain awake.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, set regular sleep and wake times, and keep the room dark.

 

Get Moving

Exercise pumps out feel good endorphins, improves mood, aids sleep and acts as moving meditation.  A good workout can blunt the stress response for a full day.

 

Go For It!

The rush of riding a roller coaster, diving into a cold pool or even putting a little extra spice on your burger can help reset stress levels, says therapist Christy Matta, author of the Stress Response.

 

Along with these tips Solidarity offers our members stress free Bill Pay that lets you pay your bills online any time you want, and our Mobile Banking lets you transfer funds, check account balances, or receive alerts when your direct deposit is credited to your account.  Sign up for these services today!

 

Source:  AARP

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