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As much as we hate to admit it, stress is a critical part of our lives. It drives us to finish projects on time, it motivates us to be responsible, and it helps us to realize the things that seem to be most important to us. However, far too many people— especially adults— suffer from chronic stress, something that seems to have become somewhat of an epidemic in our society. Read on for some simple ways to reduce your stress when you get overwhelmed!

1.Chew gum: Science says that when we chew, we’re more alert to the things going on around us— and less focused on what’s stressing us out. Choose a peppermint gum for even more of a calming effect!

2. Get writing: Jot down your thoughts and feelings and get your ideas organized. When you see your stressors, your thoughts, and your reactions written down, it helps you compartmentalize various aspects of the situation and can help you reduce the negative emotions you were feeling previously.

3. Music to your ears: Throw on some of your favorite happy music (or try these tunes, recommended by Inc and tested by us!). Listening to music that you love will help you relax and unwind, and when you incorporate a few of your signature dance moves, you’re boosting the blood and oxygen flow to your brain, which will also help you relieve some of that pent-up frustration.

4. Deep breaths: Inhale deeply, counting to 8, pausing at the top of your breath. Then exhale to the same count. Do this 10 times, and you’ll feel much calmer, both physically and mentally.

5. Drink some tea. Green tea or black tea make great choices. Opt for caffeine-free options later on in the day, as too much caffeine at night can actually increase your stress.

6. Aromatherapy: Find smells that make YOU happy. Scents like lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus are all linked to helping reduce stress, but everyone has their own preferences. When you’re feeling a little too overwhelmed, give yourself a few minutes to sit down and smell the roses. Check out some of the most popular scents and give it a try!