Stress sucks. In fact, research has revealed that high levels of stress are linked to a number of serious illnesses. I realise the irony that last statement may have stressed you out a little, but stick with me and I’ll share some easy ways to shake those shakes.
Go for a short walk
Getting active reduces stress through the release of endorphins, not to mention getting loads of fresh air. A great combination to clear the most muddled of heads.
Chew some gum
According to a 2008 study presented at the International Congress of Behavioural Medicine, chewing gum can relieve anxiety as well as reduce stress while multitasking. So go ahead and chew your woes away.
Have a kiss
Kissing is another activity that releases, you guessed it, endorphins. Furthermore, research by sex educator and relationship therapist Dr Laura Berman shows that people are six times more likely to feel chronically stressed or depressed if they only kissed while having sex.
So now is a good time to pencil in that smooch carnival and let your endorphins run free.
Listen to your favourite chill-out tunes
Make a playlist so chill it could put Charlie Sheen to sleep in the middle of a party. Repeat as necessary.
Get a bite to eat
The connection between the brain and gut is often underestimated and having a healthy snack is a great way to maintain a positive link between meals.
If you’re feeling a little rebellious, indulging in something sweet will help cut down the production of the stress hormone glucocorticoid.
Step back from work
Sometimes we need a day off to clear our heads and that’s perfectly fine. No one wants to be the token stress head of the office, so book in a day’s leave to avoid being ‘that guy’.
Talk to your friends
Psychologists have agreed that being around a close friend can reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Having a good old fashioned vent to someone that cares is also a bonus stress killer.
The repetitive motions of craft work like colouring can be a soothing activity. Not to be confused with the repetitive, electronic sounds of the German band Kraftwerk.
And it’s not just for kids; there is a whole bunch of colouring books aimed at adults, like this one.
Do some yoga
Yoga is great for those physical pains that come bundled with stress. The many poses of yoga help to relax both your mind and your muscles, no matter how inflexible you are.
Put your phone away
Sorry to sound like your mum, but the combination of staring at a screen and the perceived pressure to respond to messages is the perfect stress storm. Give your poor little thumbs a break.
Make yourself laugh
Laughing is another great way to release those stress reducing endorphins. Use YouTube to laugh at the expense of others or animals that think they’re people.