Kiss Stress Goodbye: 7 Natural Ways to Beat Fear and Anxiety

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Stress spot: Your DNA

Yes, stress can screw with your DNA, too! Chronically flooding your body with stress hormones can cause telomeres to shorten. Telomeres are genetic structures that protect the ends of our chromosomes from deterioration, and, if they shorten to a critical length, cells will no longer be able to multiply.

The Fix: Meditate. A recent Harvard Medical School study found that the physiological response from mindful meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises, or even repetitive prayer can counteract cellular damage from chronic stress. Breathing lesson: When you feel anxious, disengage your mind by focusing on breathing deeply through your nose so your belly rises before your chest does, then exhale through your mouth. Do this for 5 minutes, concentrating only on your breath.

Stress spot: Your Sex Life

Women who are distracted and stressed out often can't orgasm or even enjoy sex. Men may suffer erectile dysfunction when under stress.

The Fix: Unleash the oxytocin. Kissing, hugging, even holding hands can reduce stress because it raises levels of oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and love, say researchers at the University of North Carolina. And all that oxytocin zipping around your body may lead to another organic stress fix: sex.

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More from Rodale.com:

6 Weird Signs that You're Way Too Stressed Out

To Lose Weight, Shed Stress

Natural Stress Remedies from the Rodale Home Remedies Finder

Rewire Your Brain For Health And Happiness

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