With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be hard to find ways to relax. Sometimes though, we all have to give our bodies some much needed time-out. If you, like most people, live in a busy city, you might think it’s impossible to unwind. All you have to do is just pay attention to your surroundings. Just an hour at a nearby park can do wonders for the soul.

Stress has been linked to heart disease and cancer, and severe stress can significantly shorten your lifespan. The good news is that there are things you can do and things you can be made aware of to help your body cope with stress and to live longer.

Know Your Genetics
Knowing about your family history when it comes to any disease, can potentially save your life. If your mom and sister had breast cancer, then your risk is higher than the average person. If your dad’s side of the family all suffered from hypertension (high blood pressure), then you may be at risk.

Ask your immediate family about any history of both minor and major illnesses. If you’re concerned, there are advanced tests available, which can determine if you carry genes for several types of cancer and other diseases.

Don’t Forget To Laugh
If you’re having a bad day, try forcing yourself to smile. It can actually make you feel better. Laughing with friends or laughing at a funny movie, strengthens your immune system, reduces pain, boosts energy and protects you against the harmful effects of stress. Laughter truly is the best medicine!

Enjoy a Glass of Red
Red wine contains a substance called resveratrol, which has been proven to decrease your risk of heart attacks.

Get Regular Exercise
Exercise controls weight, improves mood, combats diseases, and boosts energy. Do something physical that won’t bore you. Many people get bored of going to the gym and falling into a dull exercise routine.

Try something different – go for a bike ride along a scenic route or try a kick-boxing class. Just get physical!

Daily Dose of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds found in fruits and vegetables that fight free radicals which damage cells and have been linked to cancer and other diseases. Great examples include; blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, carrots, spinach, and cranberries.

Lose Yourself in Nature
Sure, taking a vacation may be good for your health, but if you are a workaholic, taking time off might be difficult. No worries! Get a large picture or painting of a nature scene that relaxes you and hang it up in a place where you will be able to see it easily. Take at least 10 minutes a day to focus on the picture and breathe deeply while doing it. Tranquil pictures have been proven to decrease stress.

These are just 6 ways to alleviate stress and improve your quality of life. However, different things work for different people, so all you have to do is find what works for you!