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iVillage.com: 15 Easy and Natural Stress Busters That Work

Let 'Er Rip

The rhythmic tearing of paper -- and fine motor control required to do this task -- can cut your stress hormone production by 25 percent in 10 minutes, helping you feel calmer for two hours straight, says researchers at Logan’s University of Utah. If the thought of shredding paper doesn’t exactly thrill you, try any activity that’s a bit repetitive and demands some eye-hand coordination, like knitting, crocheting, mending, scrap booking or even hand washing dishes. According to Harvard researchers, just giving your brain a break from the chaos by focusing on a relaxing physical task can put you into a light meditative state in 20 minutes, lowering your blood pressure and slowing your heart rate by 11 beats per minute.

(CREDIT: American Image Inc./The Image Bank/Getty Images)
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