1. Chew gum
Something as simple as chewing a stick of gum can help relieve mild to moderate stress. It can also make you more alert and help you multi-task.
2. Eat chocolate
When you want some stress release, don’t forget what Swiss scientists call the “chocolate cure”. Eating 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for two weeks can reduce the stress hormone cortisol. The antioxidants and other tasty ingredients in dark chocolate also improved metabolism and healthy gut bacteria. Unfortunately, eating more chocolate won’t further reduce stress so stick to the 40 grams a day.
3. Write it down
Letting off steam by writing down your feelings in a diary or journal can avoid stress build-up. When you put feelings into words, you are turning on the same regions in the brain that are involved in emotional self-control.
4. Stretch it out
If you feel like you’re about to boil over take a 15-minute break and do some simple stretches. This has been proven to make you calmer and more productive. During relaxation, oxygen intake reduces, we exhale more nitric oxide and psychological stress levels drop.
5. Hum a tune
Thinking of a favourite song and spending a minute or two humming a few verses can halt the stress cycle for a while. Humming helps relax tense muscles, blocks out the thoughts racing around our heads and makes sure we breathe more deeply and calmly.
6. Blow up a balloon
The act of blowing up a balloon does two important things for stress relief: it makes you breathe deeper, because you have to use your diaphragm, and it makes you breathe more slowly. Both these things activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces our heart rate and relaxes our muscles and as an added bonus helps to improve posture and core stability.
7. Snack on walnuts
A handful of walnuts daily (about 18 walnut halves) helps lower blood pressure, which can rise from stress. Walnuts contain fibre, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which have a positive effect on blood pressure.
8. Have a laugh
You can stop stress in its tracks with a laugh. Just thinking about laughing can start a chain reaction in your body that reduces the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and dopac. By seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh, we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well.
9. Phone home
Talking to a loved one boosts the feel-good hormone oxytocin, leaving you smiling and in a better state of mind.
10. Milk it
If your “To Do” list becomes too long, swap your espresso for a glass of milk. It will boost your levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin leaving you relaxed enough to re-evaluate what needs to be done first.Leave a reply →