The Military Army Blog

10 Bizarre Ways to Reduce Stress

Everyone deals with stress, unfortunately. Although nobody is really immune to it, some people certainly are able to handle it better than others either by the nature of their personality or through a great deal of practice. Lucky for you, there s no need to continue to suffer even you re not naturally good at handling stress very well. All you need to do is to learn how to manage it better. For many, that means doing the obvious things that promote relaxation and rejuvenation. Some of those things may include taking time off from work, getting more sleep, delegating certain tasks to others, booking a day at the spa, finding time to indulge in a hobby or going for long walks in the woods.

Those are all great things to do, but they do take time, and they don t encompass all of what you can do to help battle stress as it surfaces when you least expect it. Here are 10 more things you can easily pick up wherever and whenever you re feeling a bit tense.

1. Swear out loud.

Just don t let your coworkers (or your mother) hear you! As long as you don t do it out of sheer anger, swearing can increase an overall sense of calmness and control[1]. The simple act of exercising your vocal chords has been shown to reduce stress, so even if you can t exactly use swear words, you can still benefit from finding a way to shout, talk, sing or even hum your way to a bit of calmness.

2. Blow up a balloon.

You may not be feeling like throwing a party if you re stressed, but blowing up a balloon or two is a great way to force yourself to inhale and exhale slowly. It makes you use your diaphragm and engages your parasympathetic nervous system to naturally breathe out those feelings of stress and anxiety.

3. Drink a glass of orange juice.

Orange juice is a great source of vitamin C, which is known to lower cortisol, a stress hormone. In a German study[2], 120 people were given the stressful task of having to speak publicly and solve math problems. Those who had been asked to take a vitamin C supplement showed much lower levels of cortisol and blood pressure compared to those who didn t take the supplement.

4. Eat a handful of pistachios.

Not only can crunching your teeth down give you a nice outlet for physically letting out feelings of frustration, but pistachios in particular have been shown to lower blood pressure. A Penn State University study[3] found that eating a three-ounce serving of pistachios a day can even relax the arteries and put less pressure on the heart to work harder.

5. Start sniffing something that smells good.

Countless studies have suggested that aromatherapy is an effective way to reduce stress. To see how it works for yourself, you can try calming scents like lavender[4], jasmine, vanilla, coconut or any other favorite scents you might really like. Your sense of smell is more deeply rooted in your brain than any of the other four senses and is strongly intertwined with memory and emotion[5], which is why it can work so well to combat stress.

6. Walk barefoot through the grass.

No, it s not just for young children and hippies. Walking barefoot through grass has been shown to provide a wide range of health benefits from reducing inflammation and improving sleep[6], to regulating heart rate variability and balancing blood glucose levels. And hey, you have to admit it cool grass between your toes just feels really good!

7. Massage your ears.

Believe it or not, your ears contain pressure points that can help regulate your emotions when they re stimulated in the right way. Try spending about 3 to 5 minutes slowly rubbing the inner areas of your ear and moving to the outer cartilage areas. Repeat on the other ear for a total of about 10 minutes.

8. Chew some gum.

It may not look all that polite, but just like crunching on some nuts helps, chewing a piece of gum can be a similarly effective (and lower calorie option if it s sugar-free) way to deal with stress. A study[7] showed that chewing gum helped people feel less anxious, become more alert and perform better when given a series of multitasking instructions.

9. Get an adult coloring book.

Adult coloring books are the big new stress-reducing trend everyone has been talking about. Whether it s the enjoyment of seeing different colors, the artistic nature of it all or the mindless activity associated with coloring more people are jumping on the coloring book bandwagon[8] to help them wind down from the stress associated with their adult responsibilities.

10. Do yoga with your hands.

Any form of yoga can be relaxing and meditative, but you can easily take advantage of this stress-relieving exercise just staying in your seat. This one minute miracle yoga practice[9] of 12 hand gestures and affirmations is powerful enough to shift your negative feelings back to a calmer state. All you need is 60 seconds to do it.

Stress shouldn t have to rule your life, and now you have some good (and easy) strategies to help you get a better handle on it. If you liked these tips, consider signing up to get my list of 28 daily must-do rules for getting stuff done and becoming a better person[10].

Related
Why You Should Ditch Your Scented Cosmetic Products
The Tasty Milk Alternative You Haven t Tried
5 Ways to Mindfully Prepare For Fall[11][12][13]

References

  1. ^ overall sense of calmness and control (www.care2.com)
  2. ^ In a German study (www.psychologytoday.com)
  3. ^ A Penn State University study (www.americanpistachios.org)
  4. ^ lavender (www.care2.com)
  5. ^ memory and emotion (www.care2.com)
  6. ^ reducing inflammation and improving sleep (www.thehealthsite.com)
  7. ^ A study (www.medicalnewstoday.com)
  8. ^ coloring book bandwagon (www.thedailytimes.com)
  9. ^ This one minute miracle yoga practice (elwood.pionet.net)
  10. ^ 28 daily must-do rules for getting stuff done and becoming a better person (slothstorm.com)
  11. ^ Why You Should Ditch Your Scented Cosmetic Products (www.care2.com)
  12. ^ The Tasty Milk Alternative You Haven t Tried (www.care2.com)
  13. ^ 5 Ways to Mindfully Prepare For Fall (www.care2.com)

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