9 ways to relax

No matter how awesome your life is, sometimes things can get crazy. Try these proven chill-out tricks next time you're totally stressed.
© Cosmopolitan // © Cosmopolitan

Call, Don't Text

A study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that hearing someone's voice over the phone has the ability to lower the listener's stress levels and boost the cuddle hormone oxytocin in your bod. Getting a text doesn't have the same effect.

1 of 10 Woman on phone (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Snack on Citrus

Noshing on an orange or grapefruit -- even adding a little lemon in your iced -- can improve your mood says psychologist Dale Atkins, PhD, author of Sanity Savers.

2 of 10 Oranges (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Smile (Seriously)

According to research from the University of Kansas, grinning helps you relax when you're stressed out. After putting people through stressful tasks, researchers discovered that the smilers had lower heart rates and reported feeling less frazzled than those who didn't smile.

3 of 10 Woman smiling (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Have an Awesome Experience

A series of studies from Stanford University found that having an "awesome" experience (seeing the Northern Lights, checking out a huge building, admiring a beautiful sunset) helps you chill out and be happier.

4 of 10 Woman in pool (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Ditch the Trash-Talk

Experts say that when you're negative, it's contagious to the people around you (and then you're surrounded by negativity, which doesn't exactly help your stress level). If you find yourself wanting to vent about someone, write it in your diary instead.

5 of 10 Woman talking (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Use a Lamp

Research shows that harsh overhead lighting can ramp up your stress and make you feel irritable. Soft lighting, on the other hand, can soothe you.

6 of 10 Woman looking to the side (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Grab Coffee with Friends

A study found that getting your caffeine fix in a group lowered stress levels. That said, sipping coffee alone made people feel more stressed, so definitely grab a buddy before you go.

7 of 10 Women having coffee (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Do a (Short) Workout

Research found that short, high-intensity workouts have a greater effect on stress than slow-paced exercise does. So to max out your chill time, hit the treadmill on high for 20 minutes in lieu of an hour of yoga.

8 of 10 Woman working out (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

Make Out

...or just kiss and cuddle with your man. Psychologists found that even just a little bit of physical contact is enough to lower your blood pressure and make you feel calmer.

9 of 10 Couple embracing (Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)