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Free and easy ways to relax

Some of the most effective ways to relax are free and oh-so-simple.

Here are some easy tips on keeping yourself delightfully

de-stressed:

1. LOOSEN UP, LITERALLY Tight clothes - especially if they put pressure on your stomach - cause tight muscles, which in turn makes you tense. So lose the skinny jeans.

2. LISTEN TO SLOW TUNES Slower-paced music can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

3. GIVE YOURSELF A TIMEOUT Set the alarm in your phone for five minutes, find a quiet place (even if it's a bathroom stall) and just sit and breathe deeply.

4. LAUGH It's true what they say: Laughter really is the best medicine. It temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, and then when they drop you feel relaxed. Watch your favorite sitcom, funny movie or cute YouTube clips.

5. LEND A HAND You don't need to join the Peace Corps to feel good about yourself. Little things, like carrying groceries for a neighbor, work too.

6. GRAB A FRIEND AND WALK It's a stress-fighting double-whammy: Exercise improves mood, and a study just found that working out with a buddy leads to greater production of endorphins.

7. LISTEN UP A recent study found that when people gave emotional support to others, they felt less stressed themselves. Call a friend who's having a rough time and let her vent.

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