Listen to these stats: A University of Michigan study found that 70% of teens feel stressed at least once a week, and 30% say they're stressed every day! And 80% of adults also say stress is a problem – and that work is the #1 cause. So, I guess everyone can use these stress-busters from Woman’s World magazine:
- Close your eyes - and briefly think about something you value highly, like a loved one. Researchers at UCLA found that visualizing something personally important lowers stress hormones instantly – and keeps them lower for at least 45 minutes. In fact, regularly thinking about positive things improves brain function and helps prevent heart disease and diabetes.
- Email. Writing to a friend about what’s bothering you is almost as good as talking to a therapist. It helps you reorganize the facts so they make more sense, which reduces your stress – even if you never send it. Writing down your feelings can also give you the insight you need to resolve the problem. And here’s an added bonus: study after study shows that social ties reduce your risk of disease by lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- Hum a tune! Scientists in Sweden found that humming along to music lessens tension immediately. The secret? Humming requires you to breathe in and out deeply - a medically-proven relaxation technique. And the vibration caused by humming is relaxing, too.
- Pinch your earlobes. It’s called “auricular acupressure” - and researchers found that it can relieve anxiety instantly. In a recent study, when paramedics applied pressure to the earlobes of ambulance patients en route to the hospital, their anxiety decreased by 50 percent. So, simply pinch each earlobe between your thumb and forefinger for 20 seconds every half an hour. And it’ll trigger the release of feel-good chemicals that’ll relax your muscles, brain and spinal cord.
To recap: If you want to de-stress instantly, close your eyes, “vent” in an email to a friend, hum a tune, or pinch your earlobes. And you’ll be feeling relaxed and stress-free in no time.