Everyone gets stressed once in a while. But when you ignore minor stress over and over again, it can build up into a major issue. That's why it's important to practice regular self-care. Here are four easy tips for reducing stress in under 10 minutes.
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Maybe it sounds obvious, but focusing on your breath is one of the best things you can do to immediately improve your physical and mental health. As soon as you practice measured, deep breathing, your muscles will relax, your blood pressure decreases, and you will begin to feel more energized. The best part is, you can do this anywhere, with no equipment needed! Just close your eyes and take a few minutes to yourself to recharge and recenter your focus.
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If it seems like drinking water is the solution to almost any issue, from stress, to headaches, to weight gain, that's because it truly is a magic elixir for your body. The connection between water and stress reduction has long been acknowledged. When you're dehydrated, your body is immediately impacted. If you're experiencing tension headaches and stiff muscles that you've been attributing to stress, water might be the cure. Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times, and take moments to drink throughout the day. You'll feel more energized and notice fewer symptoms of stress. Plus, you'll experience the added benefit of decreased cravings for sugar and salt.
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We all know that exercise is an effective way to diminish feelings of stress, but sometimes you just don't have enough time in the day to carve out a block of workout time. There's no reason your body and mind should suffer just because you don't have a chance to hit the gym. With just a few simple stretches, you can improve blood flow and release the endorphins that will reduce your tension. When you unlock your stiff muscles, you can also unlock a cluttered mind. For added relaxation, find a quiet, solitary area where you can stretch and enjoy a few minutes in your day that are just for you.
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Have you ever been so stressed it's almost funny? Let out that belly laugh, because studies have proven that laughter can have numerous physical benefits, including stress reduction. A hearty laugh can stimulate your muscles and get your heart pumping, resulting in feelings of reduced stress. Laughing also increases your oxygen intake and releases all kinds of feel-good chemicals into your bloodstream. It's one of the quickest natural highs around.
This post was originally published on Hearts & Mermaids