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 in:
- 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:
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.
Fake a Smile
You must’ve heard this phrase “Fake It Till You Make It”, so forcing yourself to smile, even if it is fake, can make you feel better. According to Psychological Science Study in 2012, smiling produces psychological and physiological benefits.
Just remember this while faking a smile: if your face is making your brain think that it is happy, then you can feel somewhat better because everything is wired to your brain.
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.
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.
Blow on your thumb while it’s in your mouth
Yes, it sounds weird but it is true that blowing on your thumb while the air passage is totally blocked, can 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.
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.
Calling a Friend
Having a friend to reach out 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 who you love, you are allowing your anxiety and fears to be released.
One of the significant side effects of stress is an increase in blood pressure. A study conducted at Penn University found out that eating a handful of pistachios can result in a substantial reduction of the effects of stress on blood pressure. You can add 1.5 oz. of pistachio to your daily diet to reduce stress. However, for greater results, you can consume 3 oz. of pistachios regularly.
In short, pistachios work great in protecting your heart from stress.
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 increase a sense of well-being and reduce stress significantly.
Do Some Housework
It may not sound relaxing, but certain chores that allow you to make repetitive motion 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 that is stressing you out, so it can be a great thing to do when you are feeling depressed.
Eat Something Crunchy
Who doesn’t love munching on their favorite snacks? Eating something crunchy isn’t just tasty but can also 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.
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.
Rub your Hoku
Hoku is the part of your palm that connects your pointer finger to thumb. Squeezing it can minimize stress by up to 39 percent.
You can do it when you are feeling stressed out due to slow internet connection or anything that causes you to lose your mind.
Get a massage
According to a study, people who had a light massage or a Swedish massage of up to 45 minutes, showed a boost in the immune system, higher levels of oxytocin, and lowered stress chemicals.
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.
You don’t need to be a dancer to dance. You can dance to your favorite music to refresh your mind, uplift your mood and relieve your stress.
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, but that doesn’t mean you should wait for the stress to go away all by its own. Try out these unusual ways to reduce stress and let us know which ones work for you best!