HEALTHY LIVING
05/22/2013 09:16 am ET Updated May 22, 2013

Release Tension With An Easy Self-Massage (VIDEO)

When you start feeling your stress levels mounting, you may instinctively put your head in your hands and start rubbing your temples. Turns out, this gesture can actually be an effective way to remedy a tension headache and calm a racing mind. Massages (including self-massages) are associated with a number of health benefits, including lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, less severe symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improved sleep.

Using a rather unlikely tool, you can perform an easy, effective stress-relieving self-massage. Watch the video above to see how two pencils and some essential oils can help to create the perfect self-massage, as demonstrated by Shape Magazine beauty expert Bahar Takhtehchian.

For more quick and easy tension-busters, try these one-minute stress relievers, breathing exercises that you can perform while sitting at your desk, and a simple five-minute, de-stressing morning ritual.

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