With balancing work, a social life, household chores, family and more, it can be easy to get caught up in the stress of the daily routine. Sometimes, it is important to take a step back, take a deep breath and relax. Whether it is listening to music, going for a walk or just closing your eyes for a second or two, find ways throughout the day to keep your calm. Or, here some scientifically proven ways to bring down your stress level.
Unplug from your technology
Constantly checking your smartphone for personal reasons increases levels of stress, a study by British researchers shows. While people initially begin using Internet-connected phones for work-related purposes, the researchers found smartphone users gradually shift to using their phones for maintaining personal virtual networks. As personal use increases, levels of stress also rises. Because of the felt need to constantly and immediately respond to notifications. While smartphones are useful for keeping up with your professional life and occasional entertainment, it is good to set them aside every once in awhile and have some time to yourself.
Improve your posture
It’s as simple as sitting up straight! Posture actually has a huge impact on how we act, according to researchers at Columbia University and Harvard University. Their study found that when we sit in hunched over positions, we feel more stressed and less powerful. On the other hand, “high-power posers” experienced elevated feelings of “power and tolerance for risk.” So, when you are starting to feel overwhelmed by the day’s tasks, just straighten up your back and tackle them head-on.
Though many people can’t start their day without first downing a cup of coffee, caffeine taken in the morning can amplify stress throughout the day. Says a study by Duke University Medical Center. Participants in the study reported more feelings of stress and experienced higher blood pressure. A 32 percent rise in adrenaline levels on days they consumed caffeine. Thus showing that caffeine has both psychological and physiological effects.
Share a smooch
Pucker up, because it is proven that kissing has a plethora of benefits. Kissing is shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol while increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Additionally, it increases endorphins, our good-mood hormone, as well as oxytocin levels (our “love” hormone), which keeps us calm. Another study, reported on by WebMD, shows that people who only kiss during lovemaking are eight time more likely to experience stress and depression.
Eat a Sugary Snack
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that eating a sugary snack (one with real sugar, not sugar substitutes) can decrease the body’s production of glucocorticoid, a stress related hormone that is also linked to obesity and lowered immune response. Dr. Yvonne Urlich-Lai, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry says sugary snacks are “better ‘self-medications’ for the two most common types of stress- physical and psychological.”