FILLING YOUR FACE: Carbohydrates promote the release of serotonin, the mood- regulating hormone. Eat a cake (naughty!) and you will experience instant calm. Alternatively, indulge in bread or servings of pasta.
Doing something naughty raises the spirits but when the guilt pangs do hit (it's a when, not an if!), remember, cravings are just the body's way of self-medicating. (That's our reasoning behind it anyway!)
ROCK YOUR WORLD: The latest cure to treat stress is spirituality, inspired by the likes of celebrities such as Madonna. In fact, DYI good karma is yours by investing in a few of the right geological specimens, like crystals. Crystals interact with your energy field (or aura), creating physical and mental balance - hold them or keep them near you. Try amethyst (for clearing negativity) or rose quartz (for a calming effect).
LOST IN MUSIC: Your favourite tunes can often transport you to a different place, leaving all your worries far behind (or at least for the duration of the CD you're listening to!)
LIGHT RELIEF: Did you know that continuous days of unnatural light actually wind us all up? To be at peace with yourself, dim the overhead lights, light an aromatic candle and let your senses take over.
HANDS UP! : Sometimes people are not in the mood to be manhandled by a burly Swedish masseur (well if he has the looks of Brad Pitt, you may want to rethink this decision!)
Ka Huna, a little known form of massage is great for beating stress. Once practiced in ancient Hawaiian temples as a means of restoring harmony to mind, body and soul, it is now commonly practiced everywhere.
Once you try this gentler version of massage, you will emerge more relaxed and with your limbs intact!
COS I'M FREE! : Freeing your mind can do wonders for stress relief. Slip on a pair of headphones and lose yourself in gyrating patterns of light and sound. Small flashing lights and rhythmic tones actually coax the brain into relaxation and deep meditation.
ANYONE FOR A CUPPA? : While caffeinated drinks quicken your heartbeat, herbal teas do not which is why they are swiftly becoming the mid-morning alternative to a strong instant coffee.
HYDROTHERAPY: Seize the bathroom for at least an hour and slip into a warm bath with soothing bath salts. The heat will relax your muscles and the salts will calm your mind.
PAMPER YOURSELF: Now this list just wouldn't be the same without the mention of a self-pampering session (of course!). So next time you are feeling the heat from the street, indulge in one of the best forms of retail therapy around - a new hairdo! There's nothing like spending time and money on making yourself beautiful AND getting a head massage at the same time, to boost morale and beat stress. Truly heavenly!
BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT! : Currently taking over the world, Yoga is great for stress and can be practiced on a number of different levels, from the elementary (learning how to breathe properly) to the quest for nirvana, it's totally in your hands. Hatha Yoga is best for beginners, combining posture and muscle exercises with meditation. Once you've learnt some of the basics, you can practice wherever you want!