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Everywhere you turn, stress abounds. Global warming, a volatile economy, the insanity of world politics – no wonder that feverish little brain of yours is racing and careening all over the place! Here’s a list of  simple habits that are sure to restore body and mind to peace and harmony.

Clear your mind and just breathe. When you feel yourself about to lose it with a situation at work or home, take a meditation break. Find a quiet place, perhaps outside or maybe even in your car, and sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus upon your breath. If you become distracted, just focus back to your breathing. Keep it slow, deep and deliberate and you’ll soon bounce back from stress.

Humor is balm for the soul and good for the body, too. Laughter releases endorphins to the brain, relaxes tight muscles, improves circulation, stimulates heart and lungs, and lightens your mood. Stick with friends who make you chuckle; watch your favorite comedy movie after work; keep a little book of jokes handy. Your good cheer will attract like- minded people to you.

Keep a list of things that you’re grateful for in your life. Don’t become a great big sponge of self-loathing and negativity. Whether on your phone or in a written notebook, write down all the things, people, events in your life that make you feel positive, happy and blessed.

Achieving peace and tranquility is just one walk away. Most medical professionals and fitness gurus agree that there’s nothing like a brisk walk to clear your mind, lift your mood, and keep your body healthy. Most of the world’s most notable artists and thinkers have reported their greatest creative spurts after just a simple stroll in nature.

Research demonstrates that music has myriads of benefits. Sure, your favorite tunes can energize you for a killer workout or lift you out of a funk and put you into a party mood. Music can also help you relax and think more creatively as well as alleviate stress and tension. Don’t be afraid to broaden your musical horizons by trying a little Mozart and Sibelius- they’ve been working their magic for years!

Building and maintaining personal relationships is one of the best ways to ensure health and happiness. Despite frenetic social media, Smart phones and endless texting, most folks report feeling lonelier and more alienated than ever before. Call or visit a family member, invite a friend for coffee, take a walk with a neighbor.

Don’t let misery, your own or someone else’s, drag you down. Instead, do a good deed, show someone that you care, step out of your own self-absorbed world and do something nice for someone else. Take a bag of staples to a food pantry, drop a card to a friend who’s having a tough time.

Give yourself a pep talk now and then. Stop being so hard on yourself and affirm yourself regularly. Amazingly, if you lighten up on yourself, you’ll soon be more likely to see the goodness and virtuous in others as well!