11 Ways to Lift Your Mood (or Someone Else's)
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The short, shallow gulps of air most of us take when we're tense make us light-headed and even edgier. That's why Robin Ehrlich, director of New York City's Eastside Massage Therapy Center (and just about every other stress expert we interviewed), suggests that when you're feeling frantic you should stop, close your eyes and refocus your breathing pattern. "Shifting to deep breathing will soothe your nerves, send oxygen to your brain and refresh your mind," she explains. Inhale slowly through your nose to the count of eight. Fill your belly—not your chest—with air. Exhale through your mouth to the count of 10 to 16. Repeat five to ten times, until you feel calmer.