We all need quick and quirky ideas to de-stress. Meditating, Staying positive and praying are sure ways to de-stress. But, the traffic-choked daily commute and the 9 to 5 workload makes it difficult to follow these ideas in the hope of reducing stress levels. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, more and more people suffer from anxiety and stress. As a result, it is crucial to find out what works for you, especially for a long term. So, move on from the de-stressing staples like hot yoga, hot baths and deep breathing, follow methods that affect the subconscious. Surprisingly, you can adopt some minimal effort ideas to lower down your stress level and elevate mood.
How Can You Relieve Anxiety and De-Stress?
Hang on or hang off as we tell you four quirky ideas that can help you de-stress.
Buy a houseplant:
Spending a little green on the green when it comes to decorating your house can help you fight stress. Not only does interaction with indoor plants reduce psychological stress, but also elevates the mood and improves cognitive functioning. According to a study published in Complementary Therapies, exposure to greenery and plants help fight stress and depression. Another similar study found that when women looked at fresh cut roses for just a few minutes, their brains flight or fight activity dropped. Moreover, houseplants spruce up the air quality and act as a natural humidifier. To sum up, houseplants will help you de-stress and decorate your living area, both in the budget.
Get a face-lift:
The old saying, in simpler terms, means smiling. Smiling can help you de-stress by tricking your brain into believing that you are happy. This, in turn, releases certain hormones like dopamine and serotonin that spur actual feelings of happiness. “The physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity,” says Dr Murray Grossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist. “When you smile, the brain sees the muscle activity and assumes that humour is happening.”
Moreover, a research conducted in the University of Kansas suggests that smiling lowers heart rate and reduces the body’s response to stress. Notably, the human brain is a sucker for a grin, so grinning can be a powerful weapon to de-stress.
Stare the Fractals: Fractals are geometrical patterns that are repeated over and over in increasingly fine magnification. Seashells, tree climbs, mountains and snowflakes are some naturally occurring fractals. However, these fractals are not limited to their natural occurrence, and can also be created in art and architecture. Various lab research shows that stress levels dropped by 60%, just by looking at fractals. The fact that fractals reduce psychological stress explains why nature is so soothing. So go ahead and include some modern art on your phone or desktop background.
Chow down on chocolate: Munching on dark chocolate is a healthier and tastier alternative to de-stress. Consumption of one average-sized bar each day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones called Cortisol, as found in research. Not only does dark chocolate reduce stress levels, but also has numerous other health benefits. For instance, cocoa is rich in flavonoids or antioxidants, that improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood pressure.
“There is no reason to wait until you are stressed to chow down on chocolate. I recommend that everyone eats 1 ounce of 70 per cent cacao chocolate per day to reap the science-backed benefits before stress hits”, says Mary Ellen Phipps. She is a registered dietitian and owner of the nutrition coaching company Milk and Honey Nutrition, which is based in Houston. Henceforth, don’t take chocolate cravings as a bad thing, it is sometimes beneficial to loose count of calories and munch on chocolates.