10 scientific methods to reduce stress
Stress is becoming one of the main threats to mental health in the 21st century. Stress is the cause of many physical illnesses. So, we have collected 10 simple and scientifically proven methods that can reduce stress.
Several studies confirm that the use of chewing gum helps fighting stress. In the first study [Andrew Scholey, 2008], people who chewed gum in multitasking and undergoing stress experienced a decrease in stress and anxiety, a decrease in cortisol (stress hormone).
Another study [Andrew Scholey, 2009] states that chewing gum can improve negative moods, increase calm and satisfaction.
A study [J. Carson Smith, 2012] by the University of Maryland found that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise can help reduce stress right after a workout. This effect is associated with an increase in the level of endorphins and a decrease in the level of cortisol. Regular exercise also reduces stress and anxiety over the longer term.
There are many studies that prove the benefits of meditation to reduce stress. One of them studied the influence of the simplest technique - transcendental meditation. According to experimental data [Laurent Volosek, 2018], this practice has reduced work stress, improved overall mood, and even increased emotional intelligence. (Emotional intelligence is an individual characteristic of every human being. It is divided into four skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management)
The technique of transcendental meditation is very simple. Find a pleasant and comfortable place, sit down, close your eyes and relax. You do not need to control your thoughts or focus on anything. Practice this twice a day for 20 minutes.
The ability to plan your day has a significant impact on stress levels. As seen from a survey conducted by scientists from Harvard University, proper planning of a day showed the best results in the ability to control stress. Those who had difficult cases in the morning felt better by the end of the day. At the beginning of the day you have significantly more power, and therefore the impact of difficult tasks on the body is not so strong.
Walk in the park
The anti-stress effect of walking is associated with two factors.
It is physical activity that increases the level of endorphins.
The natural environment also has an impact. According to researchers [Aspinall P, 2015], staying in the green zone significantly improves emotional stability and reduces stress.
Listen to calm music
The fact that music can reduce stress been known for a long time. The debate is only about what kind of music works more efficiently. As several studies have shown [Alejandro Terre-Luque, 2017], [Nina Rahshenas, 2015], light “soothing music” such as jazz, classical and instrumental music best reduces stress levels.
You can get even more benefit if you play musical instruments yourself because in this case you are physically involved.
Visualize a romantic partner
A study at the University of Arizona [Kyle J. Bourassa, 2019] found that visualizing your romantic partner in a stressful situation reduces stress almost as effectively as if he or she were actually around. We should note that the study involved couples who considered that their relationship was strong.
Simply turning off notifications on your phone or computer can significantly reduce stress. Scientists from the University of British Columbia conducted an experiment [Kostadin Kushlev, 2015], in which they asked participants to limit email control to three times a day. Another group was allowed to check their email inbox as often as they wanted. As a result, it turned out that people felt less stress if they reacted less to incoming emails.
Of course, all this applies to any other notifications. In addition to reducing stress, this practice will help you to be more productive and concentrated.
According to a study a five-minute inhalation of the aroma of lavender oil significantly reduces stress.
A study at the University of Sussex has shown that reading reduces stress more effectively than walking, listening to music, playing video games, or having a cup of coffee. Just 6 minutes of a fascinating book is enough to reduce stress by 68%.
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