Because Deep Breathing And Massages Were So Yesterday
If you’ve followed every single advice there is in the stress-beating book yet find yourself still stretched out and ready to burst like a rubber band, reconsider your de-stress methods. It might be time to adopt a more unconventional one.
Most, if not all of us, have tried the usual ways to de-stress – yoga, meditation, mindfulness, music therapy (and even shopping therapy!), massages, and the likes. However, if you find yourself still unable to wind down even after going through a thorough muscle beat-down (aka full body massage), maybe it’s time to rethink your de-stress technique.
“Fighting stress differs for every individual,” says one New York-based therapist. “You have to know that what works for you might not work for others. It’s okay to be different when it comes to the methods you’ll use to get rid of the tensions and negative vibes. You don’t have to jump in and join the bandwagon.”
So in this note, here are seven unusual but great stress beaters that might just work for you. And take note, they have scientific backing!
- Engage With Nature (Even The Man-Made Ones)
Getting yourself immersed in nature is one way to de-stress. But what if you live in a highly-urbanized zone that’s surrounded by asphalt and cement with no natural dirt on sight?
Scientists believe that engaging yourself in human-made environments set to mimic natural ones work, too. “People don’t have to head for the woods to enjoy nature’s restorative effects,” Rachel Kaplan, Ph.D., and Stephen Kaplan, Ph.D., emphasize. They said, “Even a glimpse of nature from a window helps.”
So, invite good vibes into your space by putting up an aquarium complete with beach pebbles, some seaweed, and a fish or two floating in. Or you can make do without the fishes.
- Have Any Other Animal Pet(s) For That Matter
Interactions with pet animals are scientifically found to significantly reduce stress and increase oxytocin production, the “love hormone.”
As what one dog owner said, “There’s nothing more therapeutic than coming home to a tail-wagging, tongue-hanging happy face that runs to you the moment he sees you and jumps on you as if you are his world.”
- Look At Any Random Geometric Curves Or Figures Called Fractals
Find randomly staring at the clouds or the swirls on a conch calming? No, that’s not weird. Science proved that looking at fractals or any other geometric curves and figures can be a useful de-stressing method.
Accordingly, the beauty and symmetry of fractals reduce the psychological stress the viewer is in at the moment. And the many pieces of research done within this premise all came down to one conclusion – humans are beauty lovers. When we see something aesthetically beautiful, we find it pleasing and, as a result, lessen our stress levels big time.
- Let Plants In
A little green in your home or space brings about enormous positive effects on your wellbeing. Plants increase indoor oxygen not only refreshing the air but eliminating harmful toxins as well. Additionally, they increase concentration and creativity which increase productivity. Most importantly, indoor plants have been proven to reduce stress levels.
Indeed, Agnes Van Den Berg, Ph.D., says, “Gardening can produce more than food for the table or aesthetically pleasing plants and landscaping. Working in the garden is also beneficial for reducing acute stress.”
- Go Chocolate
Your chocolate craving doesn’t have to be a bad thing. A few studies have proven that chocolates reduce stress levels and, surprisingly, lower blood pressure as well as prescriptions drugs can. According to a study made by Susan Albers, Psy.D., “Chocolate contains the same type of antioxidants found in red wine and tea, which have been shown to boost brain activity.” But these attributes are not because of sugar but due to the polyphenols, the powerful antioxidants they contain.
To reap chocolates’ physical and mental health benefits, a dietician encourages the consumption of about 1 ounce of cacao chocolate per day. And the darker they are, the better.
- Chew A Gum
Gum chewing isn’t merely a habit we do when we’re passing the time or enduring a very tedious meeting. Some studies revealed that when we chew gums, our stress levels are reduced. They, however, don’t agree as to the workings that connect the act to anxiety and stress reduction. Some say it lessens our cortisol levels while others state that gum chewing increase cortisol production which heightens brain activity making the individual doing the act to better cope with the stress he’s feeling.
- Smell Your Partner (Or Anything He Owns).
Getting a sniff of your romantic partner’s smell, may that be on him or his things decreases cortisol production and induce calm in women who are in heterosexual relationships. While the study was done with women being the test subjects, researchers believe it can work the other way around – that for men, smelling their romance partners will significantly reduce their tensions, too.
Stressed out and need a quick fix to calm down and unwind? Go through this list and see if something works for you. It won’t hurt you to try.