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5 ways to destress after a long work week

Whether you work in a routinely high-pressure environment or occasionally have a stressful day at the office, you need to find healthy ways to reduce stress and relax at the end of the day. Check out these 5 scientifically proven destressors:

1) Go for a 10-minute walk…

This one is simple. Walk can help to clear your head and boost endorphins, which, in turn, reduces stress hormones.

2) Breath deeply…

Yes, this is cliché, but it works! “Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed,” explains WebMD.

Breathing exercises -- or even just taking a few deep breaths -- can help reduce tension and relieve stress, thanks to an extra boost of oxygen. While shallow breathing -- a marker of stress -- stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, reported NPR, deep breathing does the opposite: It stimulates the parasympathetic reaction, which helps us to calm down.

3) Visualize

Visualization is a quick way to get back to center. Try to picture a peaceful scene: a future vacation, your favorite beach. You can even visualize yourself accomplishing a future goal or picture yourself in an elevator, happily sandwiched between two hot actors of your choice. Stay in the moment until you begin to relax and are able to continue on with you day.

4) Listen to Music…

While classical music has a particularly soothing effect -- it slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases levels of stress hormones -- any music that you love will flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine.

5) Progressive muscle relaxation…

Start with your toes and work your way up: tighten your foot muscles as much as you can, then relax them. Make your way up, tightening and relaxing each muscle until you’ve finished with your face. It may seem silly, but this practice can help reduce anxiety and stress and is often recommended to patients who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. 

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