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Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed all the time? Do you get easily anxious or do really small things irritate you? Among the hustle and fast-paced nature of our lives, we tend to forget that taking out time for oneself is equally important.

We keep unrealistic expectations and overburden ourselves, sometimes with work, while sometimes with thoughts. Some manage to get a lot of feathers on their cap, some carry on the hustle while some lose confidence. But a common enemy stays in each person’s life- STRESS. Here are a few easy ways to relieve stress and persevere against all odds.

1. Listen to your favorite tunes

The usual advice when you feel stressed is to take a break and listen to some soothing and calming music. It relaxes your body by having a positive effect on your body and reduces cortisol, the hormone linked with stress. Simply grooving to your favorite upbeat music can also lift your mood and induce that surge of adrenaline.

2. Open up to your family and friends

Sometimes all you need is for someone to hear you out. Sharing problems, experiences or just plain feelings helps to reduce stress as you can contemplate what’s bothering you. The reassuring voice of your trusted people helps to relieve stress as you get the social support to find your way out.

3. Meditation/ Aromatherapy/ Deep breathing

While meditation can take a lot of forms, simply focusing on your breath for a few minutes can help to calm down your nerves. This can be gradually increased to deep breathing which helps to oxygenate your blood and clear your mind. Recent studies have also proved aromatherapy is beneficial for meditation and relieving anxiety in general. Just light a candle and enjoy the calming scent of rose or lavender.

4. Write it out

At times, we don’t feel like sharing or talking to someone else, writing helps in such times. You can either write the reasons for your stress which helps to put your thoughts in perspective, or just jot down the things you’re grateful for. Maintaining a grateful journal does help in elevating your mood and bringing optimism. Whatever you write, try to focus on the positives, keep healthy expectations, and don’t be too tough on yourself.

5. Do what you like/ Practice a hobby

Taking out that “me time” from your busy schedule is equally important for being efficient. Hobbies or plain leisure activities make you feel good and bring out the best in yourself, and a well-relaxed mind can work more efficiently. Just a few minutes of reading, dancing, sketching, catching up, watching a movie or a series, spending time with family, or catching up with friends can help you cheer up for an entire day. Hence, take out time for the things you like.

6. Exercise/ Move your body

The importance of regular exercise cannot be stressed upon more. It helps to keep your body and mind active. However, exercise doesn’t necessarily mean an intense cardio session or weight lifting at the gym. It can be a normal walk, dancing like crazy or stretching during the breaks. The focus should be on getting your body to move as it releases endorphins which act as a mood booster and mitigate stress.

7. Sleep