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12 mindfulness practices anyone can do to stay calm

Our lives are busier than ever, which leaves little time to relax and unwind. Taking five minutes out of your day to de-stress will lead to a happier, calmer you. Here are 12 methods to help your mind and body slow down and find inner peace.

Visualize a calm surrounding.

When you visualize a peaceful setting, your body reacts by slowing your breathing and relaxing your muscles. Just remember, when your mind is happy your body is calm.

Try deep breathing.

When you become anxious or agitated, your breathing becomes fast and shallow. Concentrate on taking slow, deep breathes. Inhale slowly and hold it for several seconds. Slowly exhale to release the stress. Repeat several times.

Stretch your muscles.

Set aside a few minutes every day to stretch out tense muscles. Concentrate on the areas that hold the most stress, like the neck, shoulders and back.

Meditate your stress away.

Find a quiet, comfortable space to sit quietly. Clear your mind and concentrate on your breathing. Within minutes you will feel calm, and your stress will begin to melt away.

Smile and laugh.

Laughing and smiling has shown to lessen stress hormones and decrease blood pressure. Take a few minutes to enjoy conversation with a friend or watch a silly news clip. Give a quick smile to those around you for an instant pick-me-up.

Turn on relaxing tunes.

There is a wide range of relaxing music out there to calm the nerves and reduce your stress. Put in your headphones, close your eyes and bring your mind and body back into focus with peaceful music to soothe the soul.

Enjoy a cup of green tea.

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Green tea contains L-Theanine which is a proven anger and stress reducer. Brew a warm, soothing cup of green tea to take away your frustrations and get you moving again in a calmer, more relaxed state.

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