Last week, Dr. Lancer revealed to New York Magazine’s The Cut what the fountain of youth is: low stress levels and plenty of sleep (in conjunction with a healthy dose of preventive skincare). Living a stress-free life is easier said than done, of course, but you’ve gotta start somewhere. Here are 7 simple ways to reduce stress starting right now.
Meditate. Study after study has found meditation to have amazing stress-reducing benefits. If you’ve never tried it before, begin by sitting comfortably in a quiet place. Focus on your breath and choose a positive mantra (for example, “I am calm, centered and relaxed” or “I am happy and healthy.”) to repeat. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your mantra. Try doing this for ten minutes each day to center yourself and release built up tension.
Cook a healthy meal. If the mere idea of meditating makes you squirm, there are plenty of other ways to actively meditate. One option: lovingly prepare a healthy meal for yourself (and your family or loved ones). Cooking is very grounding and allows you to tap into your creative side at the same time. Try planning your meal ahead of time so that you don’t feel rushed while preparing it.
Exercise. Tired and stressed after a long day? You don’t have to run a marathon, just do something to get your body moving and energized. Try stretching out on your back or going for a walk in the sun (wearing sunscreen, of course!). It will help your body produce natural endorphins to fight off the stress and you’ll sleep better (the second key to staying youthful). Many more exercise tips and regimens can be found in Dr. Lancer’s book, Younger.
Laugh. It may be a cliché, but that’s because it’s true: laughter really is the best medicine. Seriously, don’t let a day go by without having a good laugh. Laughter releases dopamine, endorphins and growth hormone – and it helps us feel connected to others.
Pamper yourself. Take a few minutes (or more) to do something just for you – whether that’s taking a candlelight bath, giving yourself and at-home facial (recipe here), turning off your phone/computer/TV for half an hour—take some me-time to recharge and don’t feel guilty about it!
Set boundaries. A lot of us get caught in the trap of saying yes to everything – from dinner invitations to replying to work emails at 11 pm to picking up a neighbor’s kid from soccer practice on a crazy-busy day. And the truth is, no one can do it all. Develop the ability to say no when you need to, and watch your stress levels plummet.
Shop! Okay, it may not be scientifically proven, but everyone at our office agrees that a trip to shopping heaven significantly reduces the residual effect of a pressure-cooker day. Bonus Tip: We spent the better part of this week launching Lancer Skincare at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills and fell in love with Chef Tzu Chiang at Mariposa restaurant. He is serving an olallieberry dish that is packed full of antioxidants and so rare that it’s only produced for one month of the year in California. So, why not kill two birds with one stone? Indulge in some stress-relieving retail therapy and follow it up with a healthy meal at Mariposa.