20 Tips to Relax You ASAP

| Women's Health

relax coffee

Anxiety doesn't just disappear the instant that summer hits, and the surge of summer activities can actually aggravate stress levels. So if you've hit a wall this summer and desperately need some help getting back on track, try some of these helpful hints to calm your body and your spirit.

Drink tea: Studies have shown that cortisol levels (the stress hormone) drop by nearly 50% after a strong cup of black tea. So sit back, relax, and sip away! (via Women's Health Magazine)

green tea

Do some yoga: Moving through a couple of poses will help you to hone in on your breath and open up your shoulders and neck, relieving all that extra tension. Check out our favorite yoga moves here.

Squeeze a stress ball: Just keep squeezing, because this little ball can go a long way in relieving your tension and anxiety. Plus, it can also help to boost your blood circulation! (via Livestrong.com)

Laugh: Not only does laughing rip right through those calories, it also reduces stress hormones, boosts the immune system and even lowers blood pressure. So when the steam starts coming out of your ears, plop down in front of some funny cat videos or your favorite sitcom for some comic relief! (via Care2 Healthy Living)

two friends having coffee and laughing together

Eat some carbs: Carbs set off seratonin, a chemical that helps sooth and calm our body. A little carb-packed snack that is low in proteins and fats, may be just the boost that you need. Click here for some delicious and healthy recipes. (via TheBody.com)

Acupressure: Studies have shown that acupressure can reduce stress levels by almost 40%. All you have to do is massage between your thumb and index finger for 30 seconds, and voila! Instant relief.  (via Women's Health Magazine)

Cry it out: Nearly 85% of women claim that they feel better after a good, hearty cry. Tears actually rid the body of chemicals that build up during stressful times, so go ahead and let it rain!  (via TheBody.com)

Have a make-out session: You better go hunt down your hubby for a quick rendezvous, because kissing releasing endorphins, which eliminates feelings of stress and depression. (via Huffington Post)

couple kissing in bed

Take a short walk: Even if it's just a quick jaunt around the neighborhood, getting out of your house or office will help distance you from your stress and give you a chance to breathe in some fresh air. (via TheBody.com)

Hang out with friends: Every mom needs a girls' night out occasionally to blow off some steam. Plus, a study has shown that spending time with close friends can actually reduce your production of cortisol! (via Huffington Post)

Take a bath: Crack out your candles, bubble bath, incense and calming music, because soaking in your tub is one of the most popular ways to forget about your problems. Every woman needs a little alone time once in awhile! (via HelpGuide.org)

Eat some dark chocolate: A small piece of dark chocolate actually stops the production of the stress hormone. Just sit back and savor the delectable flavors. You will be stress-free in no time! (via Huffington Post)

Mount Sinai Dark Chocolate

Look through a favorite photo album: Shuffling through your favorite pictures will help you reconnect with some of your best memories: a picture of your kids on the first day of school, a family vacation, or a birthday party from your childhood may be just enough to do the trick. (via HelpGuide.org)

Hit the gym: Exercise is a great way to work through anger or stress. Activities like going for a jog or hitting the weight room release endorphins, which make you happy. So crank up the volume on your favorite playlist, and hit the gym.

Go to a garden: Surrounding yourself with the calming influence of nature is a great way to alleviate stress. So park yourself on a bench by some flowers and listen to the birds. Just 20 minutes can make a huge difference! (via HelpGuide.org)

Go for the expletives: You didn't hear it from us, but studies have shown that swearing actually reduces stress. Just make sure that when you drop the F-bomb there's no unprotected ears lurking nearby! (via Women's Health Magazine)

Give yourself a makeover: We all know that dressing up and looking our best makes us feel like a star, so give yourself some special treatment if the stress is getting to you! Go get a hair cut, put on some make up, or head out for a mani-pedi. You'll look and feel better in no time! (via Care2 Healthy Living)

makeup

Track down your pet: There's a reason dogs are brought to college campuses during exam week… they actually alleviate stress! Petting a dog or cat helps you to let go of any pent-up anxiety, and they're not going to complain about the extra attention! (via HelpGuide.org)

Log off of Facebook: Without even realizing it, we spend too much time getting caught up in the drama and negative attitudes of our friends and acquaintances on social media sites like Facebook. Try logging off for a couple days and picking up a book or magazine instead! (via Huffington Post)

Meditation: Meditation can work wonders on your body. It improves coping skills, allows us to focus on our breath and combines concentration and acceptance to create a peaceful mindset. (via Transcendental Meditation)

Before you know it, you will be able to laugh off your problems and get on with your day. It is summer after all, so get out there and have some fun!