This piece originally appeared on PureWow.
When we’re feeling particularly strung out, there’s nothing we want to do more than curl up in bed, watch a movie and relax. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the hours (and bed) at our disposal during that moment. That’s where these seven solutions come in--they all provide instant relief from the day’s anxieties.
1. Plug in
Your earbuds, that is. Close your eyes and listen to your favorite song. While classical is especially calming, any tunes you love will make you feel better.
2. Sip green tea
That’s because it contains L-Theanine, a chemical that helps reduce stress and improve your mood. And yes, iced is fine in the summer.
3. Have a little dark chocolate
Don’t mind if we do. Dark chocolate regulates levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Plus, it’s delicious and feels like a mini reward.
4. Chew gum
Studies have shown that just a few minutes of gum-chewing can lower cortisol levels and anxiety. Chomp chomp.
5. Count down
Seems simple, but count to ten slowly, then count back again just as slowly. By focusing on repeating numbers, you're forcing your brain to deemphasize stressful thoughts.
Head to YouTube and find a video you know will make you double over laughing. When you laugh, you take in more oxygen-rich air, which increases the endorphins released by your brain.
7. Sniff citrus
Yum: The scent of a peeled lemon has been proven to drastically reduce stress and improve mood swings.
Related: 6 Easy Tricks to Calm You Down