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Health Solutions

How to Relieve Stress, According to Experts

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Methods so simple you can do them right now.

Stress is a normal part of the human experience—it’s actually programmed into us; an incredible hold-over from our primal days meant to keep us safe from danger. But now that we’re no longer in direct harm from hunting for our next meal, stress is more likely to be triggered by non life-threatening experiences, like issues at work or family annoyances. 

And while triggers of stress can sometimes seem trivial, the effects stress has on our bodies are not. Stress can leave us even in pain , and finding ways to manage it are crucial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Health spoke with several experts on how to relieve stress nearly instantly or over time using a variety of methods. Here are 15 things you can do right now to help you start feeling calmer. 

15. Make a list of things you’re grateful for.

We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.

14. Get some rest. 

Previously reported by Health, neuroscientist Matthew P. Walker, PhD, author of Why We Sleep, firmly believes in sleep as your “superpower.” According to one of his sleep studies published in 2017 in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, those who are sleep-deprived were more reactive to emotionally negative stimuli, than those with a proper night’s rest. If you’re feeling more stressed than usual, assess your previous night’s rest and try to hit the hay a little earlier, or slip in a midday nap to refresh your brain.

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