We all have some degree of stress--whether it's intermittent or constant, at work or at home.

Whether you want to reduce your stress levels now or be prepared for the next crisis, here are nine strategies with documented success:

1. Breathe it out.

A deep breath is an automatic and effective technique for winding down, and deep breathing in a stressful situation can help relax your body and get everything into synch.

2. Shut it out.

Listening to music relieves stress in multiple ways, from triggering biochemical stress reducers to decreasing your blood pressure and heart rate.

3. Meditate it out.

The benefits of practicing meditation may include boosted cognitive function, a strengthened immune system, and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

4. Chew it out.

A few minutes of chewing gum may help reduce anxiety and even improve mood by reducing cortisol levels.

5. Dance it out.

Research shows people feel less anxious after they dance. Spend a few minutes moving your body, taking in rhythm and music and literally changing your stance.

6. Talk it out.

Internalizing your stresses and worries is the worst thing you can do. Talk to someone--a friend or family member, a counselor, anyone who will understand and listen without judging.

7. Walk it out.

A quiet walk can do wonders for stress relief, especially when you can step outside to walk in nature. Change your environment, stretch your tight muscles, and breathe in some clear air.

8. Squeeze it out.

Those little spongy balls are called stress balls for a reason. They really help.

9. Write it out.

Keeping a journal can help relieve stress by putting you into a meditative state of self-reflection. Writing about the things you're grateful for, in particular, can help you reorient your perspective.

The stress we feel is real, but we don't have to be helpless against it. Try some of these ideas out and let me know what works for you.

Published on: Jan 22, 2015
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