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8 Ways to Beat Stress

Simple acts can lighten up your day and improve your mood.

1. Laugh it Up.
Health experts say laughter reduces tension, evokes endorphin release, decreases blood pressure and increases oxygenation of blood. That’s why more folks are trying “laughter therapy” or “laughter yoga” – a practice in which people, often with a partner or in groups, engage in voluntary laughter exercises. Get the chuckles going by learning more at www.laughteryoga.org.

2. Act Unselfishly.
Look beyond yourself and identify opportunities where you can serve others. The altruism removes focus from your worries, gives you a fresh perspective and makes you feel good that you’ve helped someone. Similar thinking can be applied to client interactions. Rather than worrying about making the sale, pour your attention into understanding how you can best help your client succeed. Accomplish that, and sales could take care of themselves.

3. Soothe With Sacred Bathing.
This activity involves relaxing and meditating in a clean bathtub with the help of essential oils, a lit candle and quartz crystals. “The basic concept of sacred bathing is that it is a special time for quiet self-care,” says psychologist Paulette Kouffman Sherman. “It’s a time to let all negative thoughts, emotions, limiting beliefs and distractions go down the drain so that you can imagine bathing in love and peace.” To learn more, check out Kouffman Sherman’s The Book of Sacred Baths at www.sacredbathing.com.

4. Schedule Tech Blackouts.
Set aside times during the day when you’ll momentarily put away your phone, won’t check email, quit working on the laptop and even avoid surfing the web. Shuttering the digital screens helps you disconnect from life’s stressors and revive yourself. It’s especially smart to de-tech at least a half-hour before bed. Why? Studies show you’ll sleep better.

5. Tend to the Physical.
Speaking of sleep, is your shut-eye schedule consistent or haphazard? Experts say you’ll perform better at work if you go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Regular exercise is a great benefit to your body, as well. Finally, drop the junk food and “miracle diets” and stick to a nutritious, balanced meal plan. The resulting physical wellness will help improve your mental and emotional health.

6. Start Coloring.
Adult coloring books are trending for a reason: They provide stressed out grownups the chance to engage in a simple, mind-filling creative activity that naturally helps calm them down. Get out your crayons and have some fun.

7. Create a Chillin’ Playlist.
Make sure your mobile device features a list of songs you can play to help alleviate stress, anger and related negative emotions. It’s a subjective list, so select tunes that work best for you.

8. Just Breathe.
“When you are in a stressful situation, there is less oxygen flowing to your brain,” says Chelsea Xeron, a peak performance consultant and yoga teacher who works with NFL players and Olympic athletes. “By taking several deep breaths in, you are not only oxygenating your body, you are also calming yourself down. You have to gain control over yourself before you can gain control over a situation.”