24. Spend Some Time in Your Garden
Gardening has long been linked to the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression. Ever heard of horticultural therapy? It’s basically just using planting and gardening to improve mental and physical health, and it’s been studied since the 19th century (and was popularized in the 1940s and ‘50s when gardening was used to rehabilitate hospitalized war veterans). According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, “Today, horticultural therapy is accepted as a beneficial and effective therapeutic modality. It is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational and community settings.” How does it work? “Scientifically, there is evidence that suggests that there are two main modes of attention,” says horticulturist David Domoney. “Focused attention, which is what we use when we are at work, and fascination, which is what we use when we take part in hobbies such as gardening. In this theory, too much focused attention can lead to stress, and fascination then plays a part in restoring our attention and alleviating that anxious feeling we get when we are put under too much pressure, or feel like we can’t cope.”
25. Allow Yourself to Feel Anxious for a Bit
When all else fails, releasing some negative energy can help you bounce back from a stressful day. Scream into a pillow, yell out the window, take a kickboxing class…whatever it takes to get it out of your system.
Here’s some fascinating science: According to a Harvard University study, meditation may actually change the structure of your brain (in a good way). Researchers found that people who meditate had a decrease in brain cell volume in the amygdala, the area of that brain that is responsible for fear, anxiety and stress. Whoa. Want to try it but not sure where to start? Here are five great meditation tips for beginners.