April 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm , by Julie Bain
1. Lay off the sweet stuff.
Give up processed or packaged foods with added sugar for one whole day. Sure, eat fruit, whole grains or other natural complex carbs—you need them for energy. But new research shows that extra sugar raises your bad cholesterol and lowers your good cholesterol. Step away from the cupcake—and you’ll feel better and lose the cravings soon.
2. Hug a tree.
Communing with nature is one of the best built-in stress-busters we’ve got. It’s glorious, blooming spring in most parts of the country now, so before you tackle your long list of chores and errands this weekend, write at the top of the list: Go for a walk in the park (or the woods, or along the stream or up the mountain). Smell the flowers, feel the bark of a tree, dip your toe in the water, listen to the sound of the wind in the pine needles. Breathe deeply and be in the moment.
3. Let it out.
Studies have shown that when women bond with their friends, it lowers their blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol. Had a rough week? Get it out and share! Then don’t forget to ask, “How are you feeling?” You’ll both be healthier.
4. Get it on.
Studies show that in a safe, committed relationship, regular sex improves intimacy, reduces stress, burns calories, and keeps you feeling young. It also helps you sleep better.
5. Hit the hay.
Writing down what’s keeping you up at night won’t solve your problems, but it does give you permission to set them aside to deal with them tomorrow. Get into bed early with a little notebook, write down what’s bugging you, then let it go and have sweet dreams!
Photo copyright AlienCat, Fotolia.com
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