If you’re like the 40 percent of Americans who lie awake at night because of stress, chances are you’re mulling over your endless workday to-do list. Not to make you even more stressed out, but that type of regular high anxiety can cause hair loss and skin breakouts as well as eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. In other words, stress is not your friend when it comes to looking (or feeling) your best.Ready for the good news? There are very easy and quick ways to turn down your stress levels a lot. You can do each of these three tips right at your desk and in less than three minutes (you can spare it, we promise—and your body will thank you).QUIZ: How Stressed Are You?Plan ItThe best offense is a good defense—and that doesn’t only apply to sports. A good way to tackle stress before it strikes is to go on the offensive and map out your day. “Research shows that having a plan for action is a powerful antidote to negative energy,” says Caroline Adams Miller, a life coach and author of “Creating Your Best Life.”Jot down a quick list of tasks each day and cross them off as you go. Use your organizational app of choice, try e-stickies on your desktop or invest in a cute notebook from Etsy and a fancy pen—they’ll all do the job.
Sniff ItResearch shows that inhaling certain scents can reduce stress by altering gene activity and blood chemistry. The same result can be achieved through deep breathing, so kill two birds with one whiff by sniffing an essential oil from the aromatherapy line 21 Drops. They use all natural ingredients and therapeutic scents such as lavender, chamomile and rose in their blends, plus the roller-ball applicator is easy to use. (Try De-Stress to create calm.) Press the roller-ball to your pulse points (wrists, neck, heart) and inhale deeply for a few seconds each time you feel your to-do list is getting out of control. Bonus: It smells as good as perfume but is much more subtle. (Note: the entire 21 Drops line is available at our sister site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!)GALLERY: Natural Fragrances: Make Yours Non-ToxicWatch ItA quick hit of humor can undo the negative impact of stress—it actually improves vascular function. What this means for you: YouTube at work. “Look for humorous videos like laughing babies or bloopers,” says Miller. “Just a few minutes at your desk tickling your funny bone can make a huge difference in your emotional flourishing.”QUIZ: What Kind of Funny Are You?If the boss catches you, tell her you’re lowering your stress levels and improving performance. It’s true! (Just don’t go down the rabbit hole and get sucked in for an hour—one or two chuckles will do the trick.)WATCH VIDEO: