Manipulate your muscles. According to studies at the Laboratory of Clinical Neurophysiology at Rogaland Central Hospital in Stavanger, Norway, massage increases blood levels of endorphins, your body’s own mood-elevating, stress-relieving compounds. Ask your spouse or a friend for a back or neck rub. Or take off your shoes and rub your feet vigorously on the carpet.
Formulate a fragrant fix. To relieve stress, Kathy Keville and Mindy Green, coauthors of Aromatherapy: A ComPlete Guide to the Healing Art, recommend oils of anise, basil, bay, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rose, and thyme. Here’s a handy way to use them: Place a few pieces of rock salt in a small vial. Add a few drops of the oil of your choice. The salt absorbs the oil, so the oil doesn’t splash out when you open the vial. When ever you feel stressed, uncap the vial and inhale deeply.