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on-the-go stress relievers

Breathe Stress causes the body to involuntarily switch to shallow chest breathing, which deprives the body of oxygen. This can lead to headaches, high blood pressure, and back pain, among other things. Stop. Breathe deeply in for four seconds and release for eight. Continue until you're relaxed.

Take a Walk Sitting at a desk all day fielding phone calls can cause stiffness and eye strain. Take a 10-minute walk around your office building to increase "feel good" endorphins and reduce stress hormones.

Listen to Music Plug your headphones into your computer or pop in your favorite CD while driving. Melodic tunes, such as those found in classical and slow-listening music, have a relaxing effect on the mind and body, which helps to relieve stress.

Shape Up: 5 Ways to Beat Wedding Stress

While it's common to become overwhelmed during the wedding planning process, there's no reason to let it affect your health. Take a breather and review the top five ways to manage and reduce stress.

Photo: istockphoto.com/Andresr

Delegate More Tasks

Learning to manage stress involves knowing what you're capable of handling. Think critically about all the tasks you have on your plate, including your daily responsibilities (work, chores, etc.) and all those wedding planning to-dos (DIY favors, florist appointments, and gown alterations). From there, decide what you can and cannot handle. Then call on your family and friends to help take over some of your wedding-related tasks.
Quick Fix One of the most repeated pieces of advice from Knottie brides: Hire a wedding planner. You'll be surprised how much stress you'll avoid and how much more you'll enjoy the planning process when someone else is there to work through and execute all the nitpicky details.

Make Time for Touch Therapy

Touch therapy, or actively being touched, can help lower stress. We're not suggesting that you start holding hands with your wedding planner, but it's true that touching (in the form of a hug, a foot rub, or a massage) can activate the body's relaxation response and reduce the levels of stress-causing hormones.
Quick Fix Grab your fiance and give him or her a squeeze. To calm down after a stressful week, make an appointment for a Friday massage, ask for an added foot massage with your pedicure, or request a scalp massage during your haircut -- all great ways to keep stress at bay.

Practice Yoga

Working to create unity of the mind and body, yoga improves energy through practiced, proper breathing and movements. Breathing mixed with yoga poses can help direct more oxygen to the body's vital organs, relieving tension, sharpening concentration, and decreasing stress.
Quick Fix Grab a beginner's yoga DVD, sign up for a class, or just incorporate a few beginner's moves into your daily routine.

Eat Right

The right foods can aid in lowering stress. Recommended stress-busting foods include whole grains and any red, green, or orange vegetables. Keep the jitters away by limiting coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Stay away from fried foods too.
Quick Fix Relax with a mug full of chamomile tea -- a time-tested herbal stress reliever.

Explore Acupuncture

Acupuncture is known for its stress-relieving effects -- it can lower blood pressure, increase energy, and therefore decrease stress. An acupuncturist determines the areas of the body with the most tension and applies acupuncture to those spots. There are, in fact, different acupuncture points for different stresses.
Quick Fix Try the non-needle approach: acupressure. Using your forefinger and index finger, press on the stress-relieving pressure point located underneath the base of the skull about one to two inches from the spine on both sides.

-- Tia Albright

Source: Jena la Flamme, AADP, founder and director of Jena Wellness in NYC, JenaWellness.com

See More: Getting in Shape