12 simple ways to relieve stress without leaving your chair

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According to the American Institute of Stress, stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40%, the risk of a heart attack by 25%, and the risk of a stroke by 50%.

Rather than running to the doctor over every minor health issue, I like to be proactive when it comes to my body. When I have minor aches and pains, I make sure to try pain-relieving stretches I can do while sitting down.

And when it comes to stress, I get frustrated when I hear the exact same advice: relax. That is certainly easier said than done. Whether dealing with a chaotic work schedule, problems at home, or just general life worries, I find it extremely difficult to lower my stress levels by simply relaxing.

Luckily, I stumbled upon this exclusive list that shows 12 easy ways to lower stress levels without ever leaving your chair. I plan on trying all of these!

Stress is no fun and it can be absolutely detrimental to my health. Scroll through to see these simple stress relievers that can help rid you of those overwhelming feelings.

Which of these incredible stress relieving techniques will you be trying yourself? Let us know in the comments!

1. Take a Deep Breath
stress relief tips
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Taking a deep breath might sound just as generic as "relax," but breathing actually can have a positive scientific effect on your stress levels.

Dr. Judith Tutin says, "Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure."

To make the most of this exercise, sit up straight with your eyes closed and your feet on the floor. Focus on your breath as you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Spending five minutes a day doing this is sure to lower your stress levels.

2. Stretch It Out
stress relief tips
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

While many people turn to yoga to reduce their stress levels, you don't have to leave your chair to receive the stress-reducing benefits of stretching.

Fitday.com writes, "Flexibility exercises like stretching have powerful stress-busting abilities. Spending just a short amount of time (10-15 minutes) stretching each day can help calm the mind, providing a mental break and giving your body a chance to recharge."

There are many stretches you can do. For a great neck stretch, rotate your head to one side. Use your hand to add gentle pressure to the stretch. Hold it for about 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.

3. Snack on a Banana

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

It might seem odd, but snacking on a banana or another high-potassium foods can be a simple way to cut out the stress.

According to Organic Facts, "Potassium is of great importance for people suffering from undesirable mental states like anxiety and stress. It is considered as a powerful stress buster."

Other foods that are high in potassium include avocado, artichoke, dried fruits, orange juice, and peanut butter. Try these foods in combination with the other stress-busting methods to truly lower those anxiety levels.

4. Jam Out

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

One of the best ways to de-stress midday is to strap on your headphones and jam out to some of your favorite tunes.

Women's Health Magazine writes, "Listening to music is proven to reduce stress responses such as high blood pressure and elevated heart rate."

If you happen to find yourself at home, singing or dancing along can raise your endorphin levels, cutting down on unwanted stress and worry.

5. Pop Your Gum

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Another very odd, but effective method of lowering stress levels is to pop a piece of gum in your mouth.

In a study led by Dr. Andrew Scholey, "Stress levels were lower in participants who chewed gum. Levels of salivary cortisol (a physiological stress marker) in gum chewers were lower than those of non-gum chewers."

In addition to lowering stress levels, they write, "Chewing gum resulted in a significant improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities." Keeping a stick of gum handy while at home or work might just be the key to being calmer and more productive.

6. Recharge

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

While you can't always take a nap in the middle of the day, it is important to recharge, especially when you are feeling stressed out.

Kate Hanley, author of The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide: 77 Simple Strategies for Serenity writes that you should try this very easy exercise that can have the same effect as a nap: with both feet on the floor, bend your upper body over your knees, allowing your arms and head to hang.

This time spent recharging will not only help you to clear your mind, but it should calm that stress-induced fast-beating heart.

7. Buy a Plant

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

We can't always get up and go for a walk outside, sometimes because we are too busy or sometimes because the weather makes it impossible. But being near nature can definitely help lower levels of stress.

Dr. Oz, coauthor of You: Stress Less, writes, "Without question, stress is mitigated by nature." He goes on to suggest getting a plant or fresh flowers to keep on your desk at work or at home.

Taking the time each day to care for a plant, or even just to enjoy its presence, could be precisely what you need to diffuse a particularly stressful moment.

8. Visualize

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Using your imagination to visualize or fantasize can definitely help with your stress levels. Simply close your eyes and allow your mind to drift for a little while.

Women's Health Magazine writes, "Visualization reduces stress. So go ahead, picture yourself in an elevator, happily sandwiched between two hot actors of your choice."

Using visualization to vividly picture yourself in highly successful situations can actually help you with productivity and goal-setting as well.

9. Belly Laugh

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

We've all heard that laughter is the best medicine. But when it comes to stress, there is actual science that shows laughter can help.

The Mayo Clinic writes, "A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling."

They continue, "When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body." Watching a funny video or reading a funny story may just be the cure you need for your stressful day.

10. Ask for a Kiss

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

This might be easier said than done, but getting a kiss in the middle of the day is a great way to lower your stress levels.

Dr. Laura Berman writes, "Kissing relieves stress by creating a sense of connectedness, which releases endorphins, the chemicals that counteract stress and depression."

If you are at home, this might be an easy stress relief method. If you are at work, it might be time to encourage your partner to stop by during lunch for a much needed endorphin boost.

11. Say "Thank You"

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

It might seem like an obvious one, but practicing gratitude can be an extremely useful technique for ridding yourself of stress and negativity.

Wellness coach Joni Emmerling told WebMD, "Being grateful for your blessings cancels out negative thoughts and worries."

There are many ways to practice gratitude. Write down a list of things you are thankful for, close your eyes and say thank you in your mind, or call up a loved one and give them a long overdue "thanks."

12. Grab a Pen

LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Part of being able to de-stress is allowing your mind to do something other than work or worry.

WebMD writes, "It may help to write about things that are bothering you. Write for 10 to 15 minutes a day about stressful events and how they make you feel... This helps you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. After you know, you can find better ways to cope."

Writing can help you to clear your mind, whether you use it as a tool to work out problems or simply as a creative time to let your brain run wild.

These stress-reducing techniques are perfect for helping you to relax without having to leave your chair.

Which of these incredible ideas will you be trying yourself? Let us know in the comments!

Please SHARE this important stress-busting information with friends and family!

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