We all need a little pick me up now and then, but when it comes to stress reducers, some are great, and others simply don’t work. There are some things that doctors recommend, and use themselves, and they are actually easy and effective.
- Write big, REALLY BIG, love notes to yourself. Write yourself inspirational sayings, but write them in big letters. The message will get through to you, but when the letters are large, the brain sees them as much more powerful, so get those soothing quotes and make sure they are written in nice large letters.
- Walk through a doorway. You might be wondering what this one is all about, but a study done at the University of Notre Dame has found that when you’re having worrisome thoughts, the act of walking through a doorway is a signal to the frontal lobe to file away the problems and move on. Doctors feel that it truly works, too. Plus, in just five minutes, you can stop your body from creating that damaging stress hormone, cortisol, which can effectively reduce stress.
- Hold your breath. It turns out that when people are stressed, they tend to breathe shallowly. These shallow breaths throw off the nervous system because the levels of carbon dioxide in the body plummet. Holding your breath can help to reduce stress levels by regulating the normal levels of carbon dioxide. As a way to offset future bouts of stress, try deep breathing. It will regulate your carbon dioxide levels and keep you calm.
- Tear it up. Paper that is. It turns out that the act of tearing and the fine motor skills that tearing paper requires can actually reduce stress levels within about 10 minutes, and can allow feelings of calm for hours afterward. If you can’t find any old bills to shred, consider hand washing the dishes, scrapbooking, or anything else that simply gives the mind a break from the chaos of mental stressors.
- Grass. Smell fresh cut grass when you can, and take time to watch it grow. A study has found that looking at a sea of grass actually stops the body from creating adrenaline and can cut irritability in as little as two minutes. Also, smelling cut grass is an organic experience that triggers soothing alpha waves in the brain.
- Don’t forget to disconnect. It’s hard in life these days, but it’s essential. Turn your phone to silent – nobody ever turns it off anymore – and turn off the news. Instead, open a book, enjoy a movie or another activity that helps you to remove yourself from the reality of daily life.
Doctors enjoy these stress relievers, and many of them swear it works. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed, give a few of these techniques a try.