Sometimes, all you need to do is take a deep breath to de-stress yourself, but this doesn’t work every time. Everyone reacts to stress differently, and they must take various measures to reduce it. If common stress-relieving techniques alone don’t work for you, no problem, there are several unusual ways to reduce the stress that might be your ticket to a more peaceful life.
Following are Some Insidious Ways Stress Can Damage You:
- It is linked with increased heart rate, stroke, and diabetes.
- More headaches per month.
- Psychiatric illnesses.
Here are Some Unusual but Great Ways to Reduce Stress:
1. Drink Orange Juice
Did you know that eating oranges or drinking orange juice can help reduce stress? This is because oranges contain vitamin C that can reduce levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol. It also strengthens the immune system. German Researchers conducted an event in which 120 people who were stressed out were addressed – Half of these people were given vitamin C while the other half were not. The signs of stress, such as cortisol and high blood pressure, were significantly greater in those who didn’t get the vitamin supplement.
However, vitamin C works rapidly but is short-acting. To reduce stress, one should take it at regular intervals throughout the day. Vitamin C isn’t only found in oranges but many other fruits and vegetables as well, plus supplements.
2. Fake a Smile
You must’ve heard this phrase, “Fake It Till You Make It,” so forcing yourself to smile can make you feel better even if it is fake. According to Psychological Science Study in 2012, smiling produces psychological and physiological benefits.
Remember this while faking a smile: if your face makes your brain think that it is happy, you can feel somewhat better because everything is wired to your brain.
3. Wash Dishes, Mindfully
Washing dishes may be frustrating for some, but according to a study conducted at Florida State University, certain mundane activities like dish-washing can reduce stress. 51 students were addressed in this study who focused on the warmth of the water, feel of the dishes, smell of the soap, and other little things while washing the dishes, which resulted in a decrease in nervousness and stress by 27% and an increase in mental inspiration by 25%.
Anything practiced with a dose of mindfulness would probably have the same great effect.
4. Chewing Gum
From freshening breath to reducing snacking, there are several benefits of chewing gum. One of its major benefits also includes the reduction of depression and anxiety. According to a study conducted in 2008, people who regularly chewed gum were reported to have lower levels of anxiety, reduced stress, increased alertness, and improvement with multi-tasking.
5. Blow on Your Thumb While It’s In Your Mouth
Yes, it sounds weird, but blowing on your thumb while the air passage is blocked can indeed activate your vagus nerve, which can help decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. Hence, you will feel less stressed.
So, next time, when you feel stressed, find a corner, put your thumb in your mouth and blow on it. It is a fast and effective way to decrease pressure and reduce stress.
6. Look at Fractals
Wondering what fractals are? They are kaleidoscopic shapes that nature makes, which you can also see in videos and GIFs. Looking at fractals (of any shape) can be oddly calming and satisfying. Different studies show that looking at different shapes like swirls, snowflakes, and waves can have a calming effect on your mind.
7. Calling a Friend
Having a friend to reach out to when you are stressed can help you calm down and get all those negative thoughts flowing out. You don’t need to talk for hours; even a 5-minute phone call with your best friend can make a significant difference in your mood. When you are talking about your emotions out to the one you love, you allow your anxiety and fears to be released.
One of the significant side effects of stress is increased blood pressure. A study found out that eating a handful of pistachios can substantially reduce the effects of stress on blood pressure. To reduce stress, you can add 1.5 oz. of pistachio to your daily diet. However, you can consume 3 oz. of pistachios regularly for greater results.
In short, pistachios work great in protecting your heart from stress.
9. Help Others
Helping those in need is not just a great virtue, but it can also help reduce stress. According to a study, providing support to others – as little as opening a door for someone – can significantly increase a sense of well-being and reduce stress.
10. Do Some Housework
It may not sound relaxing, but certain chores that allow you to make repetitive motions can help beat stress. For example, while washing dishes and ironing, you make the same motion over and over again, which may be oddly satisfying for your body.
Also, when you are doing housework, your focus is diverted from the thing stressing you out, so it can be a great thing to do when you feel depressed.
11. Eat Something Crunchy
Who doesn’t love munching on their favorite snacks? Eating something crunchy isn’t just tasty but can relieve physical tension and make you feel calmer. So, whenever you are feeling stressed, try munching on your favorite crunchy snacks like crackers, carrots, chips, nuts, etc.
12. Stand Near a Plant
Nature helps relieve stress more than anything. It’s a plus if you are a nature lover. And yes, you read that quite right – standing near a plant or surrounding yourself with plant life can significantly reduce stress instantly. Also, if you feel depressed in your office, you can put indoor plants in your office space. It can help lower blood pressure and increase productivity.
13. Rub your Hoku
Hoku is the part of your palm that connects your pointer finger to your thumb. Squeezing can minimize stress by up to 39 percent.
You can do it when you are feeling stressed out due to a slow internet connection or anything that causes you to lose your mind.
14. Get a Massage
Who doesn’t like getting a massage? Massages reduce physical stress by relieving tension in the muscles and calming your mind as it helps your body physically relax. Getting regular massages helps with insomnia, indirectly reducing stress because you have a good night’s sleep. Massages have proven to lower cortisol levels in a person. Cortisol is the hormone that controls stress in our bodies.
15. Drink Some Green Tea
Green tea contains an amino acid (theanine) that works great in counteracting the effects of caffeine. Since drinking coffee can increase your overall stress response and heart rate, green tea can help prevent the body’s response to depressing situations.
Dancing once in a while never hurts anyone, but it helps with stress. Physical movements while dancing has been linked to reduced stress, depression, and anxiety. Studies show that dancing releases dopamine and endorphins, known as happy chemicals. Dancing also improves self-esteem as mastering dance moves and other related skills enhances confidence and self-esteem that indirectly helps with stress.
It might seem counterintuitive that stressing your body reduces stress on your mind, but it’s true. Like dancing, exercise releases dopamine and endorphins, which elevate the mood and help with stress. Exercise also helps a person improve his body image, making him more self-confident, indirectly reducing anxiety and stress.
Regular exercise helps with tiredness which can be a major factor in stress as sleep deprivation because of insomnia is one of the most common reasons for stress that the body self induces. Studies have shown a link between cholesterol imbalance and anxiety. Exercise is a known way to keep cholesterol levels in check.
18. Get Off Nicotine Products
People tend to smoke to relieve stress, but they don’t know that the nicotine in tobacco does more than just temporarily relax you. Instead, it puts more stress on your body by increasing physical arousal and damaging the ability of the hemoglobin to carry oxygen which results in shortness of breath and reduces the blood flow, eventually stressing out your body even more.
From improving your office morale to improving your home organization, there’s a lot you can do to reduce your stress. Although dealing with anxiety and stress is a lifelong process, that doesn’t mean you should wait for the stress to go away all on its own. Try out these unusual ways to reduce stress, and let us know which ones work for you best!