Top 10 stress busters

Sometimes it can seem like there's very little you can do to reduce your stress level. Your work, finances, family and other external pressures can all be a source of stress, and you may not have a lot of control over that. However, there are a number of stress busters that can help you to relax and unwind when things seem hectic.

Top stress busters

1. Breathe slowly and deeply. Take three deep breathes and release them slowly, focusing on your inhaling and exhaling. If you have a little more time, you could try some simple yoga breathing exercises.

2. Check your posture. Slumping, stooping and other types of bad posture can lead to aches, pains and increased stress. Hold your neck and shoulders upright and stand tall.

3. Don't rely on smoking, caffeine or alcohol as a way of coping. Over time you'll be creating, rather than solving, problems.

4. Push negativity out of your mind. Train yourself to think positively by repeating a positive mantra ("I can do this", for example). This can be in your head or out loud.

5. Drink plenty of water and eat small, healthy snacks. Avoid highs and lows during the day by keeping your blood sugar levels regular. Snacking on fruit and nuts can stave off stress and feelings of being "low". Dehydration can also exacerbate stress.

6. Dab some essential oils on your wrist; eucalyptus, lavender, may chang, pine and ravensara are all good for stress relief.

7. Analyse your "to-do" list and distinguish between the musts and the shoulds. Pare down any tasks that aren't necessary.

8. Take a short break (5 or 10 minutes) to calm a racing mind

9. Give yourself rewards. One of the best stress busters at the end of a busy day is knowing that there's some kind of treat waiting for you.

10. Get outdoors for a brief walk. Those old sayings about fresh air healing all kind of ails have some truth to them.

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