Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but it doesn't have to ruin yours.

Stress can also make you yearn for things that sound like they'll help, but they just end up hurting, like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. While they feel like they momentarily help with your stress, these all harm your body and make stress worse.

Consider these six ways to fit relaxation into your busy schedule:

  1. Eat well: Your body responds to what you give it. Eating a diet full of fresh produce, lean meats, and whole grains, and limiting salts and fats can keep your body in prime condition and help combat the symptoms of stress.
  2. Exercise: Sweat-burning cardiovascular exercise is a great way to relieve stress. It counteracts stress hormones and gives you a chance to clear your head. Thirty minutes is ideal but even 15 minutes of brisk walking can do the trick.
  3. Grab a moment: Sometimes five minutes is all it takes. Find a spot at work, home, or wherever you're most often stressed and go there when everything gets to be too much. This might be anything from an empty room to a nearby park.
  4. Dedicate space: Whether a "man cave" or "lady den," dedicate space in your home to relaxation. This may be as simple as taking your work desk out of your bedroom so your mind can rest better at night.
  5. Dedicate "fun" time: If you're stressed because you can't seem to get away, then get away. Plan a trip with friends, or just yourself, and get out of town to do whatever you love: reading on the beach, mountain climbing, or whatever. Just go!
  6. Music: Make CDs or playlists dedicated to calming you down. This can turn your evening commute relaxing enough to melt the day's stress off before you enter your front door. Also, singing and dancing are great ways to rid stress out of your life.

Cutting stress out of your day can help keep your mind clear and help you keep you focused and on-task. The more opportunities you have at keeping calm the less time you'll have worrying and more time to do what really matters to you.