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Some of us are parents, some of us are business owners, some are both…

One thing we all have in common is that we’re all looking for ways to reduce stress. You probably know that a walk in the woods is a great stress-reliever. You also realize that when you exercise, and afterward, you feel great. This feeling of personal accomplishment is actually triggered by a release of hormones that fight stress and make you feel good about yourself. Additionally, the power of taking frequent breaks throughout your day is a commonly known stress-reliever as well.

So, what happens if you try all of these and other well-known stress busters, and you are still feeling anxious, and stressed out?

Perhaps you should try some proven, little-known techniques for reducing the amount of stress in your life. Take the following lesser-known steps for stress-relief and you will experience more peace and tranquility, and less anxiety, in your daily routine.

1 – Break Out the Nail Polish or Permanent Marker

Don’t worry men, you are not going to be painting your nails. Using nail polish, or some other type of permanent marking device, place a small dot of bright color on your cell phone case, where you can’t miss it. Tell yourself this is a reminder to calm down and relax before you answer your phone. Seemingly endless telephone calls and text notifications can create high levels of stress. When you see that colored dot, pause, take a deep breath, and smile before you answer your phone or text.

2 – Rubber Band Your Wrist

Have you ever seen someone with a rubber band around their wrist? Aside from being a possible fashion statement (kidding of course), they may be using this as a stress-reliever. It is easy to condition yourself, and you can use a rubber band to do so. Every time you feel stressed or anxious, pull the rubber band away from your wrist and release, letting it give you a light snap on your arm. This attaches mild pain to stress, and over time, can condition you to avoid the things which cause you to snap your wrist.  Think of it as shock therapy without the voltage.

6 uncommon ways to reduce stress

3 – Megadose on Vitamin C

The physiological process that happens inside your body when you ingest vitamin C naturally lowers stress levels. According to WebMD, even as little as 500 mg of Vitamin C each day can significantly lower your cortisol level. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and regulating it can significantly reduce the possibility of stress.  Not only that, it packs a potent immune system punch and will help ward off colds and illnesses.  The last thing you need is physical stress on top of mental stress.

4 – Start Chewing Gum

Chewing a stick of gum does more than freshen your breath. Research conducted by Dr. Andrew Scholey in 2008 shows that chewing gum can also “reduce anxiety and depression”. It also increases your alertness, so keep some gum handy at home and at work.  Try Spry, which has no sugar and uses xylitol which has been proven to prevent plaque and cavities.

Or, Simply Gum made from stevia. It’s non-GMO, all natural, and offers several unique flavors such as Mint, Cinnamon, Ginger, Fennel, Coffee, and Maple. Yum!

5 – Blow Up a Balloon

This activity may draw stare at the office, but it works great for relieving stress. The deep breathing required to blow up a balloon calms you down. Besides, how can you feel stressed out and anxious when you are performing a fun, childlike activity like blowing up a balloon? Draw a smiley face on it and then smack it in the air.  Imagine your stress going back down to the floor inside the balloon.  I know, silly, but effective.

6 – Pray

I’ve saved the best for last.  This should be the first thing you do!  Take a moment and ask God for guidance, discernment, and peace.  Then thank Him for your blessings.  Give him your burdens and realize that He can deal with them much better than you can.  Then take a deep breath and respond with grace and kindness.  

Hopefully, these 6 tips will give you some ideas on how to better cope with stressful situations.  How do you effectively deal with stress?  Please leave your comments below!