7 Money Mood Boosters

How to keep stress in check and your checkbook balanced.
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Take It Easy

Woman Eating at Restaurant

Money might make the world go 'round, but it sure can make you go mad. Especially when tax day looms, and you can no longer thumb your nose at your financial demons. Paying necessary expenses while trying to save for retirement, your kids' college tuition, or even that overpriced pair of rhinestone-studded shoes you have to have, can take its toll on your nerves. Here are seven ways to de-stress and prepare to tackle your financial challenges head on.

1. Pick up a fork.

Emotional eating isn't necessarily the best long-term way to deal with stress, but certain types of foods can produce a fast-acting relaxing effect. Carbohydrates typically top the list because they help increase serotonin, a calming brain neurotransmitter. Foods rich in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, like asparagus, yogurt, and some fish, may have anti-stress effects too.

2. Take a deep breath.

"When we start to panic, the first thing that happens is our breath becomes quick and shallow," says Jean Peplinski, a registered yoga teacher in Michigan. A surefire way to think more clearly is to breathe more deeply. Peplinski suggests a method called alternate nostril breathing: Close your eyes and lightly rest your right thumb and pinkie finger on each nostril. Press gently on your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril. Press gently on your left nostril, and then exhale through your right. Inhale through the right nostril, then close the right and exhale through the left. Continue alternating a few times. "Not only does this action help center the mind, but the concentration required helps draw you away from the stressful situation a bit," Peplinski says.

Continued on page 2:  Soothe Your Senses


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