Four Ways to Beat Stress Right Now
We all know we should relax, get more sleep, and maybe even meditate to reduce our stress level. But did you know that there are four things you can do right now to feel calmer and happier?
Chew gum. It's amazing, but findings from Northumbria University in the UK show that simply popping a stick of gum into your mouth can reduce your stress hormone levels by 12 percent. Researchers also found that gum chewing makes you more alert, possibly by increasing blood flow to certain regions of the brain.
Make a great music mix. Researchers in Japan have found that patients about to undergo major surgery had less stress when listening to music than when in a quiet room. Even if you're not going to the hospital, listening to background music can mellow you out. To wind down at bedtime, try listening to a relaxing mix rather than watching TV.
Drink black tea. The English are serious about their afternoon tea time and for good reason. When volunteers at London's University College were given a stressful assignment, the stress hormone levels of those who were regular tea drinkers fell by 47 percent within an hour of completing the task.
Laugh. The old adage "laughter is the best medicine" is especially true when combating stress. Studies show that laughter and even anticipating laughter can reduce your hormonal stress response. So if you're in a stressful situation hang out with a funny pal or pop in a DVD of "The Office."
If you're feeling stressed out, take a moment right now to try one of these easy, immediate techniques. You'll feel better and your body will thank you.