News 9 pictures to help you relax on Stress Awareness Day By Lauren Cook firstname.lastname@example.org Updated April 16, 2019 12:13 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Stressed? Who isn't, really. Money, job performance, health and relationships: these are some of the leading causes of stress in the United States, but that feeling doesn't need to define your day. In fact, stress is considered a natural and necessary part of the balance of life, according to Dr. Daniel Kirsch, neurobiologist and president of The American Institute of Stress. “People should become aware of the concept of stress. It’s not a mental health diagnosis. Stress is a normal pattern in life and we can learn to control it,” Kirsch said. “To live a happy life, you need to be aware that your body is programmed like this, and take measures to deal with it.” Even simple acts like going for a walk, eating a nutritious meal or taking a warm bath can help people reduce stress. Certain images can also have a calming effect, though Kirsch added that what someone finds relaxing is a matter of individual preference. While some may find natural or architectural fractals stress-inducing, there is research that suggests certain types of these patterns can reduce stress. “People really see things differently,” Kirsch said. “People can pick whatever they like in terms of what relaxes them. It’s whatever affects them.” In honor of National Stress Awareness Day Tuesday, take a deep, calming breath and scroll through these relaxing pictures. Natural greenspaces Photo Credit: Getty Images/GREG HADEL There is research that suggests that looking at a lush green, natural landscape can help you relax, but if you really want to up your stress management game, go take a walk in the park. The color blue Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/malija Whether you’re looking up at the sky, gazing out over a beautiful lake or staring at your computer screen, the color blue can have a calming effect, studies have shown. Cute images Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/jarun011 This may come as no surprise, but pictures of adorable baby animals also can help people relax. Cute images typically make people smile, which Kirsch said is good for managing stress. Kittens are cute, too Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/anurakpong Here are some adorable kittens too, because why not? We can’t leave out baby wild animals Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Photographer and Illustrator They’re just so cute! OK, moving on. Natural fractals Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Sabine Hortebusch Research suggests that certain kinds of fractals that occur in nature – the inside of a sea shell or a spiral aloe vera plant, for example – can soothe the mind. Patterns in architecture Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/e55evu The same concept can be applied to patterns found in man-made structures, like the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. Seascapes Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Phaelnogueira Ever notice that most people who live near the beach seem more relaxed? Seascapes can offer a trifecta of calm by bringing together a serene natural environment, calming blue colors and waves that create fractal patterns. A puppy living its best life at the beach Photo Credit: Getty Images/Charles Mann We’ll leave you with a photo that will hopefully pull double duty when it comes to reducing some stress, but at the very least make you smile. By Lauren Cook email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.