75 Easy Stress Busters

By , By Woman's Day Staff

Just Breathe

Whether your tension is small-time or big-league, unwind with our smartest stress-less advice from the past 75 years.

Instant Tension Zappers

1 | Take three deep breaths—5 seconds in, 5 seconds out—to slow your heart rate and the pace of your stress hormones. April 2010

2 | Copy a cat: Stretch and then shake it out. February 1963

3 | Sing a favorite song. You'll breathe more fully and the increased oxygen will do your body good. May 2000

4 | Hang your head forward as if it were a heavy ball, then move it slowly to the side, back, side and front. Repeat. Circle around twice in the opposite direction. July 1975

5 | Sit up straight. When your shoulders are back, you open up your chest and breathe more freely. April 2010

6 | Hold the hand of someone you love. Skin-to-skin touch is calming. September 2011

7 | Pop a piece of gum. Chewing loosens your jaw, where you often store stress. November 2003

8 | Take a mental break—focus on a photo of a loved one, a goal or a favorite place. April 2010

9 | At work, walk over to someone's desk to talk, go to the watercooler, force yourself to move. It will relieve physical tension. May 1984

10 | Smooth on hand lotion. The smell and feel is wonderfully distracting. February 2006

11 | Say a prayer—it's one of the most potent antidotes to stress. Connecting with a higher power helps you gain strength and clear your mind. September 1998

12 | Use your whole body as you yawn. The deep exhalation is relaxing and the stretch loosens your muscles. November 1963

13 | Lie on your back, keeping your knees bent, feet on the floor. This opens the front of your body and quiets your mind. April 2010

14 | Let the sun restore you. Turn your face to it, close your eyes and bask in the natural warmth for several minutes. November 2003

15 | When sitting, tense your body from head to toe. Count to 10 and then go limp. Repeat. July 1975

16 | Try scream therapy: Let out a shout in your car or in a field. You'll feel better afterward! September 2011

17 | Peel an orange. Breathe in the aroma as you tear away the skin. Then pop the sections into your mouth for an instant refresher. November 1979

18 | Breathe slowly through your nose (with your mouth closed). Visualize your breath going to the center of your head, then going out. Do this 5 to 15 times. April 2010

19 | If your heart is pounding, give it a musical rhythm. The idea is not to fight the symptom but to ride it like a wave. March 1990

20 | Place your hands on your shoulders, elbows close to your body. Inhale and bring elbows up as far as possible, stretching your head back. Exhale as you return elbows to start position. Repeat several times. February 1967

21 | Putter with a plant. Pluck off dead leaves, trim new growth, give it water and a few words of encouragement. November 1979

22 | Brush your teeth. The sudsy soothing rhythm can freshen your outlook. November 2003

23 | Try this easy meditation: Think of a favorite phrase. Repeat it deliberately. Let thoughts pass if they interrupt you and return to the repetition. May 2000

Click here for 52 more stress busters!

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