Stress is an energy sapper that leaves you physically and mentally weak at times.  It is also believed to be a contributing factor for some diseases.

You deserve to enjoy a stress-free life.  Here are 10 activities you can do to reduce stress and its negative effects on your health:

1. Take calming breaths

Breathing is a primary activity to sustain life.  It is nature's way of supplying your body and brain with oxygen which your blood and cells need to function normally. 

Taking deep breaths is a technique that people practice for its relaxing effect and to ease the tense muscles in your body. You can do this anytime, any place, and in any position that you're in.  Taking deep breaths helps to give you a quick fix for stress.

2. Smile or laugh more often

The act of smiling or laughing stimulates your brain to release endorphins which helps to make you feel good.  A good laugh also exercises your internal muscles and allows you to inhale more oxygen which helps to make you feel more relaxed. 

3. Watch other people

Watching people get on with their daily activities can sometimes motivate you to shed off that stress and start to get moving yourself.  Take time to watch the people around you.  Take notice of their energy and excitement as they go on with their lives.  This will help to refresh you and make you forget the stress that's trying to stop you from moving ahead.

4. Eat walnuts and chocolate

Eating walnuts and chocolates can calm you and give your brain some boosting effect.  Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the brain food that helps to enhance your mood.  Chocolate is another mood-boosting food that contains phenylethylamine, a compound which stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain.  You only need an ounce of chocolate to improve your mood. 

Eat walnuts and chocolate together to enjoy their combined anti-stress benefits.

5. Get distracted.  Listen music or read a magazine

Distractions are not that bad after all, because it can help you slip away from thoughts which are causing your stress levels to rise.  When you feel that stress is building up, listen to music or flip through the pages of some magazine.  This can help to redirect your mind and give you renewed energy to face your troubles in a more relaxed manner.

6. Think before you commit

Committing on things without properly balancing it with your other activities can sometimes become the cause for your stress.  You should spend time to evaluate possibilities before you make any commitments.

7. Help others

Helping others gives you a sense of fulfillment and it just feels good.  It's a feeling that puts your stress responses to rest.

8. Exercise in the Sun

Spending time outdoors and under the sun is a natural stress buster which helps to bring you back to your stress-free state.  Even the thought of walking along the beach in the morning or watching nature on a bike has some relaxing effect.  Doing the real thing can surely take away stress from you.