Every Friday, as part of our new 'weekly wellbeing' initiative, HuffPost UK Lifestyle will be picking their favourite feel-good story from around the web to share with our lovely readers.
With one quarter of Brits admitting to getting stressed every day and countless studies linking anxiety to mental and physical health problems, what better start to the weekly round-up than some tips to help you de-stress?
"When you 'feel' stress reduce, you are feeling your heart rate calm, your brainwaves organize, your vessels dilating, and your physiology and emotional state return to neutral," Dr. Ackrill said.
"A number of activities have stress-reducing effects for multiple reasons."
Taking A Bath
Ahhh. Why does taking a warm bath instantly destress us? "[It] calms our physiology [and] relaxes the vessels," explains Dr. Ackrill of the American Institute of Stress and WellSpark, a leadership development firm.
Praying can lead people to feel a connection with their spiritual health, writes Dr. Cynthia Ackrill.
"I have a love affair with chocolate, but unfortunately, sugar is not a help in stress," Dr. Ackrill shares with Huff/Post50. "We crave it -- we want dopamine and serotonin to feel better -- but it is not a help at all in the long run. Sugar actually is inflammatory (a version of a stressor)."
Snuggling With Puppies
Got a dog (or two or three)? "Loving pets lowers blood pressure and increases immune responses, counteracting the negative effects of stress," Dr. Ackrill explains. But don't think your puppy<em> is</em>a stress cure-all, she explains. "Don't keep living a life that is filled with stress and stressful perspectives, then love on your dog -- make changes and love the dog!"
Listening To Music: Brahms Violin Concerto In D Major
"Some music actually increases coherence of our heart rate -- a really healthy state," Dr. Ackrill writes. "And if you are actively listening you are less focused on the stress."
Getting A Hug
Don't underestimate the power of human connection as a form of instant stress reduction. "We need more touch, [which is] sometimes a challenge as we age," Dr. Ackrill writes. "Massage even releases anti-stress chemicals."
The rhythmic movement and creative energy expelled during a knitting session can instantly reduce stress.
Listening To Audiobooks
When you listen to an audiobook to destress, you're "usually [shifting] focus," Dr. Ackrill allows. "But if the stressor is still looming, this may only be procrastination. If it sparks creative thinking to deal with a stressor -- to expand thought patterns -- it may be helpful."
Walking The Dog
When you walk the dog you're hitting three stress reducers in one activity: exercise, and being around animals and nature, according to Dr. Ackrill.
When we are stressed out, we tend to get dehydrated, Dr. Ackrill explained. Drinking water can be soothing and a way to help our bodys handle all the reactions that happen when we're stressed.
Listening To Music: Dave Matthews Band
Readers told us they automatically destressed when they heard Dave Matthews' music. (For a two-for, watch <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXe8PFKsOIc">Dave Matthews Band's video for the single "Everyday,"</a> featuring lots of hugs.)
Eating Strawberry Ice Cream
As with chocolate, this instant destressor can actually cause more harm than good in the long run. While we love that rush of feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin, sugar causes inflammation, a type of internal stress.
A number of Facebook fans said deep breathing instantly reduces their stress, and for good reason. "This is one of the oldest and cheapest forms of stress management known to mankind!" writes Dr. Ackrill. "Mindful breathing resets brain patterns, increases heart rate coherence, lowers blood pressure and many more effects." Yoga and meditation also made it on the list.
'Seeing My Grandkid's Smiles'
Experiencing the love of our families creates a connection that releases inflammation-fighting DHEA and other chemicals, explains Dr. Ackrill.
Crying can release tension, but is not a proven stress reducer, Dr. Ackrill told Huff/Post50.
Dr. Ackrill calls dancing an "excellent" way to instantly reduce stress. "Movement releases stress reducing chemicals as well as chemicals that support brain growth. Exercise rivals antidepressants."
Also on HuffPost UK Lifestyle:
@HuffPoLifestyle I hate when people leave a mess behind them and leave me to tidy! Always busy and never get time to myself! #LoveLifestyle
@HuffPoLifestyle Money worries make me stressed. Juggling pennies, robbing Peter to pay Paul. Shame doesnt grow on trees #LoveLifestyle #FF
Stress Free & a feeling of Wellbeing
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jayne_Flintoff"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/100003405285825/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Jayne_Flintoff">Jayne Flintoff</a>:<br />I suffered stress and anxiety for 2 years i have turned my life around with Visualisation , Meditation , Positive affirmations and Breathing . Also i have used a device called Wellcell which incorporates light therapy its changed my life within a month .