5 Things You Can Do to Instantly Eliminate Stress
In today’s 24-7 world, we are constantly connected to screens and work and social obligations and are struggling to find time to relax and be with our families. With that being said, it’s hardly surprising that many people are finding themselves stressed and anxious. Here are some easy, quick, and effective stress busters to break out the next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed.
Sniff tangerine oil to get energized.
Why tangerine oil? The scent can be invigorating because it stimulates the limbic system, which is the emotional center of the brain, according to researchers at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. Put a few drops on your wrists, rub, and inhale.
Breathe in some cinnamon — and eat it, too!
Cinnamon not only conjures up thoughts of apple pie or other yummy treats, but it can help relieve stress, too. This heavenly spice has been shown to reduce anxiety levels by 25 percent in as little as two minutes by calming the regions of the brain that are responsible for fearful thoughts. Eating cinnamon has also been shown to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to changes in mood and energy. In other words, eating cinnamon can help you feel calm. Good excuse the next time you reach for a cinnamon bun!
Cinnamon may even minimize the stress of sitting in a traffic jam: A study from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia found that the scent of cinnamon or peppermint may reduce fatigue, increase alertness, and ease stress in drivers.
Smile, even if you don’t feel like it.
You may have heard this tip about smiling even when you’re not particularly happy because doing so can lift your mood. Just the physical act of smiling, even if it isn’t real, can help you feel relaxed and happy again, says research from the University of Kansas, in Lawrence. Here’s how: When you put on a happy face, your brain produces endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that lift your mood almost right away.
Sit on a rocking chair, or even a swing!
You know how babies are soothed when they are rocked in a smooth motion? Take that idea and use it on yourself to quickly relieve your stress. If you have a rocking chair, spend a couple of minutes rocking back and forth. Or, grab an empty swing the next time you take your kids to the playground and take a turn. These soothing motions can help lower the production of cortisol, a hormone that’s produced in the adrenal glands.
Cortisol is referred to as the “stress hormone” because its levels spike up when we’re stressed. Rocking or swinging has been shown to lower cortisol levels by 25 percent or more, reducing stress and anxiety for up to two hours at a time and putting the entire nervous system into a meditative and relaxed state, says research from the University of Miami.
Get up and move.
A quick burst of exercise, like taking a brisk walk around the block, running up a flight of stairs, or even just getting out of your chair and stretching, are great stress busters that can get your blood flowing and boost endorphins. And when you get outside, fresh air and sunlight can also help lift your mood.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
More From FIRST
How to Get Healthy Without Breaking the Bank
6 Foods That Will Help You Sleep Like a Baby
This 10-Minute Meditation Gave Me More Energy and Better Sleep
ARNICARE FOR PAIN AND BRUISES!
Powered by Arnica montana, Arnicare® is designed to treat muscle pain, swelling, and discoloration from bruising. The unscented gel cools on contact and absorbs quickly into your skin, leaving no sticky or greasy residue, and provides you with the relief you seek. Learn more at Arnicare.com.
Anxiety Help Collage
Anxiety help is just a click away with these surprisingly simple steps.
Anxiety Help Power Breathing
Practice Power Breathing
Focus on exhaling for twice as long as you inhale. Personal growth experts suggest inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of eight as practice.
Anxiety Help Dog
Pet a Dog
Even if it's not your own, a dog can be a great antidote to stress since they're bred to feel and respond to human emotion.
Anxiety Help Fake Smile
Fake a Smile
Forcing yourself to grin can actually make you feel better when you're stressing, since it involves engaging your face, which is wired to your brain.
Anxiety Help Calendar
It might sound strange, but take a look at your schedule. Put in a half hour to do something you find relaxing, whether it's a walk, meditation, or something else.
Anxiety Help Good Deed
Do a Good Deed
Performing a simple act of kindness can help you relax, and can also help fight any negative expectations you have of your environment.
Anxiety Help Fractals
Look at Fractal Patterns
Looking at similar or identical patterns in art or nature (like in the Brazilian plant above) can help take your mind off stress.
Anxiety Help Sun
Get in Natural Sunlight--for 15 Minutes
You'll naturally increase your Vitamin D levels, which can help decrease anxiety symptoms. And 15 minutes will let you reap the full benefits of the activity.
Anxiety Help Writing
Write Your Worries Down
Creating a list of your top 10 worries or stressful upcoming events may seem scary, but it'll allow you to deal with the problems head-on as they come up.
Anxiety Help Bath
Take a Hot Bath
Raising your body heat in the tub is an excellent mood and anxiety regulator. For added benefits, stir some Epsom salts in the bubbles.
Anxiety Help Lavender
that this lovely scent may actually be an "emotional" anti-inflammatory.
Anxiety Help Chamomile
Drink Chamomile Tea
Some of the compounds in chamomile bind to the same brain receptors as medicine that's designed to help calm you down.
Anxiety Help Exercise
Exercise--For Just 21 Minutes
That's about how long it takes for exercise to reduce your anxiety, studies show.
Summer Hats Heart Shaped
Who doesn't love summer hats? They keep you looking and feeling cool when it's hot out. Find out what cool summer hat is best for your face shape.
NEXT: The Right Summer Hat for Your Face Shape
Still feeling stressed? Why not take a chance to win a luxurious trip to Tuscany in Italy? Click here to enter ---> http://bit.ly/ww_tuscany_gallery