The best natural stress remedies

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With hectic lifestyles and busy schedules, most people feel stress now and then. Feeling anxious more frequently, though, is a signal from your body and mind to slow down and seek more balance. Stress on a regular basis affects you physically and mentally. Here are a few tips for coping when stress threatens to get the best of you.

Work it out.

The ultimate stress reliever is exercise. A quick break for a walk and some fresh air helps clear your mind and revitalizes you. When you exercise, you release endorphins, increasing your energy so you feel better instantly and are ready to tackle the day.

Take time to get organized. It helps you manage your time and makes that big project or long list of tasks seem less daunting.

Eat healthier. You'll feel better and likely cut your stress down to size. Eating well gives you more energy, and there's a calming element to preparing a good meal. Taking care of yourself physically is an important component in reducing stress. A glass of wine and some music while you cook mellows your mood even further.

Get up earlier. In the big scheme of things, losing a half hour of sleep won't hurt much and actually can help you face the day with a better attitude and a lot less stress. You'll be more relaxed and less rushed through the morning routine and end up accomplishing more -- and more easily -- during your day.

Unwind yourself.

Take a bubble bath. Showers are great, but there's nothing quite like soaking away your cares in a tub of frothy bubbles. Sink back, and just relax.

Take a time out. As you go through your day, you will encounter stressful situations -- that's just life -- so put yourself in time out and you'll work more productively. Take a break when you need it; just stop and breathe deeply, stretch, or treat yourself to a drink or a snack. Walking away from a task for a few minutes keeps stress from building up.

Sleep well. Your body gets confused with irregular sleep patterns, and sleep deprivation makes anyone feel more anxious. Keep a regular bedtime, and prime your body for sleep by exercising during the day and avoiding heavy meals and caffeine in the evening. You can't sleep away your stress, but sleeping well arms you to face the day with energy and confidence.

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate station. Deciding to switch gears and write fulfilled a lifelong ambition. She started as a blogger for a diverse group of businesses, and now writes for a number of websites for companies in her hometown in the Rocky Mountains, and provides advertising copy and media buying for national and regional clients. She finds the research as interesting as the writing, learning about subjects as diverse as construction scaffolding, child safety seats, and newest trends in beauty and fashion. As a long-time devotee of SheKnows, she’s thrilled to see her own work on the pages.