7-Day Happiness Makeover: Our Weeklong De-Stress Plan

By Emily G.W. Chau

Don't let stress suck the joy right out of the holiday season. Check out our weeklong menu of soothing solutions.

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Morning: Buy yourself a begonia. Workers with live plants in their office are happier on the job than their more nature-deprived counterparts, reports Texas A&M University.
Midmorning treat: Hug someone. A simple embrace can trigger a rush of endorphins, a natural stress and pain reliever.
Midday: Book a vacation, or just Google beautiful places you'd like to travel to. Japanese researchers found that simply imagining a calming scene can lower your levels of stress hormones.
Afternoon treat: Pet a dog -- it may bring down your blood pressure, according to a University of South Carolina study.
Evening: Clean out your purse. Tidying up at the end of the day helps you psychologically de-clutter, says Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress.
De-Stress Homework: Write down three things that make you feel calm.

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