The Stress Solution

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The Stress Solution

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The Stress Solution

7. Hit the gym

"Research shows that any type of exercise helps people feel more self-confident and at ease," says Michael McKee, Ph.D., of Columbia University. Aerobic exercise at almost any intensity can stimulate the release of pleasure-inducing endorphins in the brain, while yoga can calm jangled nerves.

8. Use your bean

Have some choline-rich lentil soup at your next meal. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people with the highest levels of this B vitamin in their bodies were 33 percent less likely to feel anxious than those with the lowest levels. Other research suggests that choline increases the production of brain chemicals that control mood. Keep your cool by getting at least 425 milligrams of the nutrient each day from beans, eggs, nuts, and cauliflower.

9. Picture perfection

Instead of anticipating problems on the big day, try to envision everything going off without a hitch. "The positive images in your head will help you relax, feel more confident, and perform better," says Ephraim C. Trakhtenberg, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of neuroscience at the University of Miami. Of course, mind over matter may not work in every situation—if only we could wish our way out of traffic jams and coffee spills—but the lift in your spirits will more than make up for the time spent day dreaming.

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