Chill out: Five ways to relax your mind and body every day

Everyone has “one of those days,” from time to time, where long to-do lists or endless meetings seem to take over. But sometimes it seems like those days happen, well, every day. And how you deal with those high-stress weeks or months can have big impact on your health and productivity. In addition to affecting immune, heart and stomach health, stress can drain hours of productivity from your day. In fact, 36 percent of people say they lose more than one hour of productivity every day thanks to stress.

Fortunately, there are several simple actions you can add to your daily agenda to help your mind and body relax and improve your productivity:

  • Drink green tea. In addition to being a tasty substitute for coffee, green tea contains an amino acid called theanine, which relaxes your brain and combats high heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Pick the right scented hand lotion. Sometimes relaxing can be as simple as smelling the right fragrance. Certain scents, like lavender, can help your body better deal with stress and regulate heart rate.
  • Hit play on your favorite music: Listening to music that you like will both distract you from what’s stressing you out and reduce levels of stress hormones.
  • Practice deep breathing: Slowing down and breathing deeply is a simple way to calm the nerves during the day. Next time you feel stressed, try these six deep breathing exercises to reset your mind and calm your body.
  • Squeeze away: When all else fails, grab the ubiquitous stress ball and squeeze away. The repetitive action of squeezing a stress ball (or tennis ball in a pinch) helps combat anxiety by increasing circulation and stimulating muscles in your lower arm, which can become stiff through repetitive tasks like typing.

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Photo credit: Rob

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  1. We believe that music dependency works as a surrogate for missing human bonds. Music can pierce one’s heart directly; it requires no mediation. Regular Chillstep mixtapes posted every Wednesday. Hear us out on MySpace!

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