When you become stressed, every aspect of your life can seem harder.

Sometimes stress can be helpful; it pushes us to achieve our goals and stay on track. However, too much stress can make you ill and cause you long-term damage. Don’t let stress ruin your life; here are 15 simple ways to relieve stress immediately.

1. Use tennis balls to get rid of a tension headache.

Hold two tennis balls in your hands and hold them behind your head. Lay down with your head on the tennis balls, and slowly roll your head back and forth. This will provide immediate relief from a tension headache.

2. Exercise regularly.

If you struggle with stress, start exercising; all exercise is a natural stress reducer. Try anything you think you would enjoy, from running to boxing to salsa classes.

3. Take a bath or shower with soothing music.

A relaxing shower or bath will help you to relax and gather your thoughts. Add some soothing music to help take your mind off the stressful situation.

4. Keep a record of the compliments you receive.

Make a note of every compliment you receive to help you realize how capable you are. Simply write them on a piece of paper or on your phone, and re-read them whenever you are having a stressful day.

5. Try acupuncture.

Many studies have found that acupuncture helps to reduce stress levels by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and bringing the body back into balance.

6. Create a mantra.

Set a positive mantra to say whenever you are feeling stressed. This will help you to relax so that you can think of a solution to your problem.

Here are some options.

  • “Stress is not my friend.”
  • “I am in charge of my emotions.”
  • “I choose peace, not stress.”
  • “It isn’t the end of the world.”

7. Read a funny book or listen to a funny podcast.

Laughter really is the best medicine; it reduces stress while improving your mood, so read a book or watch a podcast that will make you laugh until your eyes are streaming.

8. Be flexible in life.

Remember that stress doesn’t rule you; you can choose to be stressed, or you can choose to be calm. If you try to go with the flow, you will notice a dramatic decrease in your stress levels.

9. Know your limits.

Don’t overcomplicate your life, or expect too much from yourself; if you push yourself too hard, you will start to feel stressed and exhausted

10. Don’t dwell on past mistakes.

The past is the past—you can’t change your mistakes, so accept them and move on. Focus on the present and the future and you will feel more optimistic and happy.

Eat the following foods to lower your stress levels.

11. Salmon

Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids that help to counteract the negative effects of stress hormones, and a study found that medical students who took omega-3 supplements had a 20% reduction in anxiety compared to the group given placebo pills. Effective!

12. Yogurt

Did you know your gut bacteria can make you stressed? Yogurt can fix this problem as it is filled with probiotics that help to restore the balance in your gut.

13. Blueberries

The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in blueberries help to improve your body’s response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals.

14. Seeds

Seeds have lots of benefits, including lowering your stress levels. Flaxseed and sunflower seeds are good sources of magnesium, which helps to regulate your emotions.

15. Dark chocolate

Good news for all chocoholics; a bite of dark chocolate helps to lower levels of stress-causing hormone cortisol. Look for chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.

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