A recent study has found that nine out of ten Australians feel stressed. Yikes! That’s a lot of built up tension. So we asked you what the best ways to relax are and you came up with some beauties!

1. “Turn the stereo up really loud, and dance around the lounge-room. Guaranteed to make you feel better!”

Why do we feel like jumping for joy when we’re happy or crashing in bed when we’re sad? Because our body and senses are connected. The next time you feel down, jump around and dance instead. It’s the quickest way to short circuit your senses and trick them into thinking you’re happy. And soon enough you will be! So make like Meredith Grey and dance your troubles away.

2. ”I like a good hot cup of tea, a comfy chair in the sunshine and a good friend to chat with.”

Studies have found that tea helps cut levels of the stress hormone cortisol circulating in the blood. Limeflower tea is especially good for relieving anxiety and stress so why not pick up some from your local health store?

3. “Swimming in winter in Port Phillip Bay. The icy water clings to your body as you wrap a fluffy towel around yourself!”

There is a reason why you feel so good after a swim. The ions in water are opposite to those in our body so they react against each other and energise you. You might think it’s too cold for a swim now but you’d be surprised how warm the water is … honest!

4. “Getting my eyebrows waxed or my hair cut or just shaving my legs can make me feel great about myself.”

Nearly every major beauty brand now makes products that will not only pamper you but help with stress relief as well. Look for ingredients such as essential oils and plant extracts and try to buy shower and bath products with lavender in them.

5. “I head into the kitchen and bake up a storm with my mama. The smile that our cookies put on people’s faces does the trick.”

Cooking is a great way to take your mind off your problems and unwind. Here are some top stress relieving food ingredients to use: oranges, sweet potatoes, dried apricots, turkey, spinach, nuts, salmon, avocado and green vegetables.

6. “I like to change the sheets on my bed often and put sweet smelling flowers in my room. It helps me relax and sleep better.”

Can’t sleep? Maybe you’re too hot or the air is too stuffy. Having a plant in your room is a great way to clean the air and get more oxygen. You can also try sleeping with a window open for fresh air and washing your sheets and doona to banish dust mites. Also go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – your body will appreciate the routine.”

7. “Get a head and shoulders massage from a professional or a loved one. Heaven!”

Indian head massages are a great way to de-stress but if budget is tight here is a way you can do it yourself. Sit in a quiet place. Bend your head and rest your eyes in the palms of your hands. Breathe in and out through your nose, slowly and deeply, for one minute. Raise your head, but keep your eyes closed for a feeling of peacefulness. Place your palms on your temples, fingers on your crown, push firmly for 20 seconds. Slide your hands back slightly pressing palms firmly into your temples move your hands in a circular motion so your scalp moves beneath them. Continue for one minute. Feel better yet?

And here are a few more of your feel-good tips for good measure:

• Smile! It costs nothing plus it gives you an instant facelift.

• Go outside into the sun, close your eyes, tilt you head toward the sun and feel the warmth on your face.

• Breathe deeply as often as you can to get oxygen inside your lungs.

• Do a random act of kindness for someone that will make their life happier and less stressed.

• Hug a pet. Pets have an amazing way of making you feel happy. Probably the unconditional love.

• Don’t bring your troubles from work home. Home is a place to get away from your work life.

• Rent “Feast of Love” starring Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear it’s a feel good movie for anyone with an appetite for love.

• Drink a vegetable and fruit mixed smoothie in the morning and you will notice the difference!

• Go for a walk with a friend. It’s active and a good way to catch up.

Got some more feel-good tips? Share them with us!

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