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Do you find it impossible to switch off and relax? Is the weight of the world always on your shoulders? Do the pressures of modern living cause you sleepless nights?
If the answer to these questions is yes, or if you are just feeling a little bit stressed, then you need to learn to relax. The average person spends 27 days a year worrying and feeling stressed, but you can avoid this by adopting one of the following lifestyle changes that are designed to help you chill out.
Don't be fooled into thinking that massage is merely an indulgence or something you should only treat yourself to once or twice a year. Regular massage is incredibly beneficial - encouraging your muscles to relax and lengthen, improving blood flow, boosting your immune system and, last but not least, making you feel as chilled as a polar bear's cold bits.
When you step out of the office in the evening or at the weekend, that period that follows - depressingly short as it is - is your time. Mobile phones were designed for one thing only - to disturb people. So switch your phone off, sit back and relax.
You might not think you like it, but research carried out at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, found that listening to soothing classical music will help you to calm down and relax. Try it when you get into bed to help you sleep.
Ever wondered why your doctor's surgery is littered with magazines? No, it's not because they are running two hours late - research has actually shown that a good read can do your health a whole lot of good. Health experts and doctors in North Lincolnshire have even gone as far as 'prescribing' books to patients to alleviate their anxiety levels. Participants then present the prescription at their local library and - literally - read themselves well.
Is there anything yoga isn't good for? Aside from the numerous benefits to your physique, yoga is also adept at helping you sleep and reducing stress.
Ah, the classic Irish cup of tea. But instead of drinking ten cups a day, switch to low-caffeine alternatives such as chamomile or peppermint, and you will soon be reaping the benefits.
Never underestimate the impact your diet has on your health and wellbeing. If you are constantly feeling irritable, unfit and highly-strung, chances are you are fuelling your body with the wrong foods. Cut down on caffeine, alcohol and foods that are high in fat and calories, and you will be feeling much better in no time.
Eating right is all well and good, but adding regular exercise sessions will lower your anxiety levels even further. Numerous studies have shown that working up a sweat does wonders for your mental wellbeing, not to mention your sex life, sleep patterns and the obvious physical benefits.
If you often feel rushed, short of breath or like there are a thousand and one thoughts running through your head at once, then make sure you take time each day to take your body to the other end of the scale. Set aside 20 minutes every day to stop what you are doing, sit down somewhere and meditate. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing until it naturally begins to slow down, leaving you feeling relaxed and in control.
It may sound surprising, but boxing is in fact a great way to lower your stress levels. Channelling your aggression at a punch bag or your sparring partner will release all your pent-up anger, as well as giving your fitness an overhaul.
Escaping from the city, even for a day, and interacting with nature will help you clear your head of muddle and allow you to spend some quality time on your own or with loved ones.
Animals seem to have a magical affect on humans, so much so that hospitals and doctors are increasingly using them to treat their patients. Keeping a pet can dramatically decrease your stress levels, so maybe it's time for you to put your faith in man's best friend…