How do you relax? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by James Porter, Author of the book STOP STRESS THIS MINUTE and president of StressStop.com, on Quora: Here are five surprising ways that you can help you relax and lower stress.

  1. Get organized. Disorganization is a major source of underlying stress and this time of year is a great time to go through your drawers and closets and even your car and get rid of any junk, trash or unnecessary stuff you accumulated in 2017. Andy Warhol used to clear off all the accumulated junk on his desk and put it into a box at the end of every year. Even better would be to take this stuff and just throw it all away. But either way, getting yourself organized is positively therapeutic and ultimately relaxing.
  2. Make a list of your top ten sources of stress. Many people avoid facing their stress - they try to sweep it under the rug - and as a result, these issues fester and cause even more stress. Spend just thirty minutes this week identifying your top ten sources of stress and you will immediately start to feel better. Why? Once you identify the exact sources of your stress, your mind starts to focus on possible solutions and, as a result, you'll feel more relaxed.
  3. Accept what is and can't be changed. Acceptance is probably the most under-rated route to calmness that you have at your immediate disposal, all the time. So, when things start to get tense, just accept, that for what ever reason, this is the way things are. Then remind yourself that: This too shall pass. Total acceptance of your situation, even if it's just for the time being, has an amazing calming effect.
  4. Practice gratefulness. This is now an evidence-based practice. Check out this link to a University of California website, to learn more. Everyday when you wake up and before you go to sleep at night, think of five things you have to be grateful for. It will calm you down immediately.
  5. Connect with every single person you meet. Human beings are wired to connect. And you can read about it in this link to an article published in Scientific American. Every time you connect with another person, feel-good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin are released into the brain. You can connect with everyone you know and even people you don't know like cashiers and bank tellers (who wear name tags) by simply looking them in the eyes and while maintaining eye contact, addressing this person by name, and thanking them for helping you in any way.

To put it another way, by making other people feel good, you will feel good too.

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