10 ways to reduce stress

Susannah Hickling / 28 December 2016 ( 04 October 2019 )

Try these simple, but unexpected methods to instantly make yourself feel more relaxed and happy.

1. Walk it off

Don’t get stressed, get active. A brisk 15-minute walk will work off nervous energy and clear your head.

Discover the health benefits of walking

2. Plan out your meals for the week

To avoid that panic over what to cook for dinner, sit down on Sunday and work out what you’re going to eat for the next seven days.

Visit our food channel for recipes and inspiration

3. Wander around with a notebook

Use it to jot down worries, then close it and take a few deep breaths. Open it and read what you’ve written. Those concerns should seem less serious now.

Surprising ways to feel less anxious

4. Give someone a hug

US researchers found that a cuddle lasting just a few seconds can keep you calm amid the chaos.

5. Fill your walls with pictures

Gazing at art helps to reduce stress hormones.

6. Schedule in free time

Spend eight hours a week doing things that make you feel good.

7. Have a bromance

Stress encourages male rats to bond, which makes them more resilient.

8. Buy flowers

A study found women who sat near a vase of blooms at work were more relaxed.

9. Eat mindfully

Chew slowly and focus on texture and taste.

Learn more about mindful eating

10. Be positive about getting older

A North Carolina State University study showed that over-60s who were happy, optimistic and felt useful were better able to cope with stress.

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