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De-Stress Test: Which Methods Really Work

10 stay-calm strategies for harried people

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  • 6. Repeat a Relaxing Phrase

    Why It's Supposed to Work: Quietly concentrating on phrases like, "I now empty my mind of irritation, frustration, hate and worry and fill it with peace, calm, love and faith" flushes out negative thoughts, helping you enjoy the present moment, says Dr. Arvon. To feel even calmer, Ehrman suggests visualizing your stress-inducing thoughts going into a tightly closed container.

    Real Result: This de-stressor provided long-lasting relief for Rockwell, who now uses this anywhere and anytime stress hits. Although Romero doesn't recommend this de-stressor, she admits that repeating the phrase made this method more effective for her.

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    7. Sing a Favorite Song

    Why It's Supposed to Work: Whether you're belting out a tune in the car or the shower, singing tames tension in your face, neck and shoulders, says Ehrman. Dr. Arvon adds that singing boosts endorphin production while lowering the heart rate. Karaoke fan? Singing with gal pals doubles the mood-boosting power.

    Real Result: Both Romero and Rockwell enjoyed channeling their inner Mariah. Rockwell relaxed and started breathing more deeply, and Romero felt her mood almost immediately improved.

De-Stress Test: Which Methods Really Work
10 stay-calm strategies for harried people
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