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5 Super Stress Relievers

On any given busy day, these quirky -- yet effective -- tips will help calm you down and let you find your way back to your happy place. Bonus: They work instantly!

Smooch!
Kissing unleashes chemicals that lower anxiety and encourage feelings of euphoria, reports a new study from Lafayette College. Researchers found that levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, dropped dramatically post-lip-lock in the couples studied. (Not a bad way to relax, if you ask us!)

Squeeze a Lemon
A good whiff of lemon (particularly the oils found in the peel) may be an effective -- and fresh-smelling -- tool in the mood-boosting department, according to recent research published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.

Grab a Book
A new British study found that even six minutes of reading can lower stress levels by 68 percent. Doesn't matter what you read -- from a novel to this magazine -- as long as it lets you lose your worries in the words, says study author David Lewis, Ph.D.

Get Your Game on
Take a cue from your kids and play a video game for a few minutes (on your console, computer, iPhone --whatever). Scientists at East Carolina University looked at how adults' levels of tension, depression, and anger were affected by gaming and saw vast improvements among the study participants.

Sniff Some Flowers
Mother Nature has serious calming powers: Hospital patients who had pottedĀ flowers in their rooms felt less pain and fatigue and were more relaxed than those with no greenery around, found a recent Kansas State University study. The best part: You don't need to be sick to get the benefits!

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