Did you know that 44 percent of Americans reported that their stress levels have increased over the past five years? Public Relations Executives are no stranger to stress – our industry ranks seventh on the list of America’s Most Stressful Jobs in 2012. Though to-do lists get overwhelming and work demands can seem never-ending, it is important to not let stress take over. However, this is a piece of advice that is often much easier said than done. If you’re part of those 44 percent of Americans, here are some pointers that will help to relieve some of your workday stress. Move Adrenaline is a great thing! Take 30 minutes to walk around the building after lunch or squeeze in a gym visit after work to get your heart pumping, adrenaline flowing and most importantly, your mind off of that to-do list. Having a calm and relieved mind set is an effective way to plow through your work! Eat dark chocolate Dark chocolate is proven to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. It’s also rich in antioxidants. Keep a stash of dark chocolate in your desk to enjoy throughout the week; it’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while helping keep your stress levels under control. “Me” time This one may seem obvious, but use your off-work time wisely to enjoy things you like to do. Set aside an hour or two after work to read that book your friend suggested or see that movie you’ve been wanting to watch. Volunteer Few things are more rewarding than helping somebody in need. Getting involved with a nonprofit is a great way to support your community and build relationships with local leaders while taking your mind off of the day’s stressors. Laugh Laughing not only lowers stress but also strengthens the immune system by releasing health-enhancing hormones. Take a few quick breaks throughout the day to watch the trending funny video on YouTube or rent a comedy to watch after dinner. Jam out Never underestimate the power of music on your mood. Listening to your favorite songs can take your mind off of just about anything. So if you’re good at multi-tasking, have Pandora playing in the background during your work day. Want to know more about managing stress? Then read Pierponter Subhrata Barot’s blog post on how you can deal with stress in a fast pace environment.