Keep your mind and body at ease with these simple home remedies.
11. Hot Way to Chill Out
When we get anxious, our bodies automatically pull blood flow to our large muscles, preparing for what’s called the fight-or-flight response. But when the stressful situation doesn’t actually require a fight or flight (as is usually the case in our modern world), all that redirected flow does is amp up your stress levels. Here’s an amazing little trick: You can help bring your mind and body back into balance by warming your hands or even just imagining they’re warm. It’s a simple little tip you can use anywhere!
12. Sit on a Sponge
Before you head to the kitchen to look for a sponge, we should tell you that all this tip requires is your imagination! Simply imagine you’re sitting on a giant sponge and breathe in. As you breathe out, imagine all your stress leaving you and getting absorbed into the sponge.
13. Calm Head to Toe
Tense each muscle group for 5 seconds and then relax as you move down. Start with your eyes and work down through your neck, shoulders, back, belly, butt, thighs, calves, and feet.
14. Pull Those Shoulders Back
Maybe Mom had it right all along—good posture can be powerful! Researchers have found that pulling back your shoulders and standing or sitting up straight can reduce stress hormone levels by 25 percent.
Climb On In!
15. Soak Away Stress
We all know how good time in the tub can feel. And science backs it up: One study even found that soaking in warm water daily for 8 weeks is more effective at easing anxiety than a prescription drug.
Feel Better with Fun
16. Break Out the Crayons
Colored pencils will do, too! You’re never too old to color. In fact, adults who color patterns see a big drop in anxiety compared to adults who don’t color or draw on blank sheets of paper. Treat your racing mind to a coloring book today.
17. Dig in the Dirt
Did you know 30 minutes of gardening can reduce stress levels more than 30 minutes of reading? The benefit could come from the physical activity, fresh air, certain good bacteria in the soil, or a combo of all.
18. Create an Ice Cream Menu
When you feel stress and anxiety rising, start mentally composing a list of your favorite ice cream flavors. Part of the power lies in the distraction—you’re taking your mind off your worries. But ice cream works better than, say, state capitals because of associated happy memories. We all dream of ice cream . . . for stress relief!
19. Reach for Sweet Stress Relief
Craving chocolate? Your body knows what it needs! A bit of dark chocolate (an ounce or two) can help reduce stress levels. Some research has even found that it can lower blood pressure nearly as well as drugs.