Don’t freak out! If stress is sending you into a tailspin, try these tricks from Quick and Simple Magazine.
- Form a fist. The next time you’re stressed, try this trick: Clench your fists tightly for five seconds, then open them. Why does this work? Because when a muscle tenses as much as possible, it becomes able to detense completely. Basically, clenching and releasing your fists is kind of like pushing an internal “reset” button on your body. Which helps you relax.
- Look at something blue. Like the blue screensaver on your computer. Or a blue pillow in your living room. Rutgers University researchers found that blue triggers the production of a calming brain chemical. According to Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of 101 Exercises For The Soul, since blue is the color of the ocean and the sky, we automatically associate it with the serene feelings that come with being out in nature.
- Belt out a tune. It doesn’t matter if you’re off key! According to researchers at Frankfurt University in Germany, singing can slash the body’s level of stress hormones! Why? Because when we sing, we’re breathing deeply, and this lowers the body’s blood pressure and heart rate.
- Help someone. Being kind to others produces a rush of feel-good chemicals in the brain. That’s according to the book Stress Free For Good. That endorphin surge boosts your mood. So help a little old lady cross the street. Or offer to watch your neighbor’s kid while they run to the store.
If you’d like to go further, check out Stress Free For Good by Fred Luskin and Kenneth Pelletier.