How to Reduce Your Stress

Take a scientific approach to soothing your frazzled nerves with these proven methods.

You will need

  • Athletic sneakers
  • Meditation tape or book
  • Comfortable bed
  • Good instructional book
  • Soft music
  • Professional masseuse (optional)

Step 1 Start exercising Start exercising. Pick an activity you like, such as swimming, dancing, or riding a bike.

Step 2 Meditate Learn to meditate. Consult a book or CD for techniques on meditation and relaxation, or check your local yellow pages for a class near you.

Step 3 Get sleep Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. The National Sleep Foundation says that anything less could negatively affect both decision-making and interactions with others, leading to anxiety.

Step 4 Go to bed early Go to bed 30 minutes to an hour before your normal bedtime and do something relaxing like read a book or listen to soft music

Step 5 Reduce caffeine Reduce your caffeine intake, which can make you jittery all day. Instead of coffee, try herbal tea.

Step 6 Book vacation Book a vacation. Research shows that frequent vacationers are eight times less likely to die of a heart attack than those who rarely go on holiday.

Step 7 Consider root of stress Consider whether your stress has a root problem that should be dealt with. Maybe you need to cut back on your activities for a while, or stick up for yourself more, or try therapy to see if there’s something in particular that’s stressing you out.