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24 Ways to Feel Calmer Every Day!

You don't have to be constantly stressed!!

1. Switch up your screen saver. Try a wilderness shot. Looking at photos of green spaces help to relax.

2. Clean up. When you're surrounded by clutter, you're reminded of unfinished projects.

3. Wander aimlessly. Stroll somewhere that sparks ideas.

4. Stretch it out. For better sleep, do this before bed. Try standing with back and arms against a wall, upper arms parallel with floor, and elbows bent 90 degrees (like a goal post). Hold 10 to 30 seconds, breathing deeply.

5. Rally up your friends. Seeking support from other women/men releases happiness hormones and keeps the stressy ones like cortisol in check. Maybe invite a pal to pottery night.

6. Put on some weight. Lying under a weighted vest or blanket can calm the nervous system, studies show, in as little as 5 minutes.

7. Honor teatime. In the afternoon, I make a herbal tea, which keeps me calm, focused, and centered. The amino acid L-theanine, found in all varieties of tea, quiets the brain without having a sedating effect.

8. Reframe the situation. Mental trick: When you have a million things going on, remind yourself of the upside. Next to your to-do list, tack up an encouraging Post-it, like, "I'm tasked with so much because people think I'm talented."

9. Focus on your values. Thinking about the pros on your personal pro/con list has been proven to lower stress and increase positivity. But don't focus on "conditional values," like status or looks. List what your core values are (compassion, independence, faith), why they matter, and a time you exhibited each. When you feel stressed, reflect on one.

10. Use mood lighting. Warmer tones like those of a sunset help you calm down and prepare for sleep.

11. Live in the moment. Anxiety is all about the future. To bring down stress levels, bring your thoughts back to what is happening right now as opposed to what may or may not happen in the future.

12. Take five to meditate.

13. Get a rubdown. Massages are my favorite thing when I'm stressed!

14. Protect your personal time. Leaving work at a regular time and unplugging at home will help ease job stress.

15. Get on your own nerves. Certain ways of breathing calm the nervous system, partly by stimulating the vagus nerve. Try sitting comfortably with your right thumb on your right nostril and your right ring finger on your left nostril. Press in the right nostril, and inhale through the left. Close both nostrils, hold for one count, and then release the right nostril and exhale. Pause for a count, then inhale through the right, press both, and exhale through the left. Repeat for five minutes.

16. Laugh!! Merely anticipating a laugh decreases stress hormones and increases happy ones.

17. Make a new playlist. Any music you enjoy is more relaxing than silence, research shows.

18. Mind your money. People who have more control over their money, no matter how much they have, feel happier. One fix: Pay bills right when they come in.

19. Swap out your afternoon espresso. Caffeine gooses the nervous system and cortisol levels, so a serious habit could amplify stress and make it harder to rest.

20. Do a body scan. For a few minutes each morning, close your eyes and direct your attention to each different part of your body from head to toes. Ask yourself, 'How am I breathing? Where am I tight or achy?'

21. Find a playful distraction. When your thoughts are stuck in a stressful loop, shift your focus elsewhere. Try creative activities, like crocheting, flower arranging, or coloring.

22. Sniff it out. Aromatherapy can help reduce mental burnout and anxiety.

23. Snack on the good stuff. Check out my recipes for more details.

24. Focus on the big picture. If planning a party has you stressed for example, stop and picture guests having fun. They won't sweat tiny details.

Yours in health, Maria Lucey, Nutritionist and Health coach

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