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Chillax! 10 Ways to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

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Are you stressed to the max? Join the club! These days, it's hard to balance life. With work, family, deadlines and finances all taking a toll on our stress levels, life can feel overwhelming at times. The good news? There are simple ways to help! Shape.com has created 10 easy ways to reduce anxiety and stress in your daily life. We feel better already!

"Some people handle stress well, but for others it can be devastating. Stress can cause fatigue, chronic headaches, irritability, changes in appetite, memory loss, low self-esteem, withdrawal, teeth grinding, even cold hands," says Margaux J. Rathbun, certified nutritional therapy practitioner. "All of these symptoms can have an extremely negative effect on our quality of life, our health, and can ultimately lead to a shorter life span."

Here's their top de-stressing tips:

1. Drink Tea
"Chamomile tea is a gentle relaxant that acts as a nerve tonic and a sleeping aid," Rathbun says. "If you experience a long day and can't seem to calm down, brew yourself a nice cup of chamomile tea with some added honey for a boost of nutrients."

2. Say No to Coffee
Limit your intake of caffeine to de-stress, Rathbun says. It can contribute to nervousness and mood swings.

3. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods can create stress on the digestive system, Rathbun says. "These foods include artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, fried foods, junk/fast foods, sugar, white flour products, and foods that contain preservatives."

4. Eat Ginger
"The next time you are feeling stressed or tired from anxiety, reach for some ginger. There is nothing like a little spice to perk you up," Rathbun says.

5. Have Some Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil has also been known to help improve moods and boost brain function.
"I always add Barleans Organic Flax Oil to my morning smoothies for a boost of omega-3 fatty acids," Rathbun says. "I recommend this brand because it's been cold-expeller pressed to keep all the mood-boosting nutrients intact."

6. Just Breathe
Janel Ovrut Funk, a Boston-based registered dietitian and blogger of EatWellWithJanel.com, suggests to breathe! "This stress reduction tip can be done anytime, and anywhere-when you're stuck in traffic, working on a massive project, or plowing through an extra-long to-do list," Ovrut Funk says. "Deep breathing instantly calms you down, and sometimes imagining that you're blowing out any stress or negative feelings helps!"

7. Unplug
That includes your phone, Kindle, iPod, iPad, laptop, and even TV. "While these are all great inventions, they make us feel like we always have to be plugged in, responding to messages as soon as we receive them, or browsing the Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook updates," Ovrut Funk says. Give yourself a break. "Even unplugging for 30 minutes a day can help you relax," she says.
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