Strange stress busters

Mowing lawn among stress busters you may not know about

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Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out? Go mow the yard. Or pet your dog. Or drink orange juice.

Experts say those are three of the less obvious activities that really do help reduce stress.

Mowing the yard may seem like a chore, but researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia discovered a chemical released by freshly cut grass makes people feel happy and relaxed, by controlling the release of stress hormones.

Many people consider their pets a part of the family, but there are also health benefits to welcoming a furry friend into your home. Numerous studies have found owning a pet can reduce depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure and increase owners' exercise level.

If you like to sip your stress relief, orange juice may be the answer. German researchers studied 120 people who were asked to complete a stressful public speaking task. Half of the participants were given 1,000 mg of vitamin C.

The study found levels of the stress hormone cortisol and blood pressure were significantly higher in the group who did not receive the vitamin C. Experts say vitamin C may help the body manage stress more effectively.

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