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Stress: 20 scientifically proven tips to instantly de-stress

Stress: 20 scientifically proven tips to instantly de-stress

HEALTH - How is your stress manifested? For some people, an accelerating heartbeat or a slight feeling of discomfort is enough to let them know they are getting anxious or overwhelmed. But in the same way that a little vexation on the part of your boss or bad family news can raise your stress hormones and quickly raise your blood pressure, you have the power to reset everything almost instantly.

When we are stressed, hormones like cortisol flood our system, producing a "survival" reaction during which our heart rate increases, our breathing becomes heavier (thus requiring more oxygen) and our blood vessels tighten.

Stress 20 scientifically proven tips to instantly de-stress

While during the prehistoric era, the increase of blood in our heart and our muscles helped us to escape the predators or to get us out of dangerous situations, we are no longer in the same type of situation today.

Our body can not tell the difference between an approaching grizzly bear, an angry spouse or a particularly epic traffic jam, and it triggers a stress response even when there is no immediate danger. Instead of helping us escape, this reaction can contribute to chronic health problems such as hypertension, headaches, depressive states and anxiety disorders. Moreover, stress can worsen other health concerns, such as asthma, irritable bowel syndrome or insomnia.
The good news ? According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the American Institutes of Health, in the same way that we have a "stress reaction", we have a "relaxation reaction", during which our breathing slows down, lowering the blood pressure, and reducing the need for oxygen.
Since we can not really prevent stress from winning, we must work to remove the effects. It is for this purpose that we present here 20 ways to control your stress, based on scientific evidence.

Walk for 10 minutes

Walk for 10 minutes

Even if any walk will help you empty your head and boost endorphins (which, in turn, will reduce stress hormones), consider walking in a garden or other green space, which can place your body in a state of meditation, thanks to a phenomenon called "involuntary attention" during which something holds your attention, but allows you to think at the same time.

Breathe deeply
Every yogi knows that breathing - known as pranayama or "life force" - plays an important role in nourishing the body. And medical research confirms. "Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they provide your body with a feeling close to that of an already relaxed body," says the WebMD medical site.

Breathing exercises - or simply doing a few deep breaths - can help reduce tension and relieve stress with extra oxygen. According to NPR radio, while rapid breathing - a sign of stress - stimulates the nervous system, breathing deeply causes the opposite effect: it stimulates the reaction of the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us to appease.

In addition, clinical research has shown that breathing exercises help some stress-damaged systems: they can reduce blood pressure and even even change the expression of certain genes, according to researcher Herbert Benson. at Harvard .


A short performance is an easy way to refocus. Even the US National Institutes of Health recognize the power of "mental imagery" to elicit a relaxing response.

You just have to sit comfortably (at your desk, in an empty conference room - anywhere!) And then visualize a peaceful scene: an upcoming vacation, your favorite beach. You can even imagine a future goal or, to use the words of Women's Health magazine, "visualize yourself in an elevator, happy to be stuck between two beautiful actors of your choice".

Eat a snack (be careful!)

Eating because you are stressed is not necessarily negative.

"The connection between the intestines and the brain is important - it's called the 'intestines-brain axis' - and many interesting studies support the idea that the intestines are a fundamental mediator of the stress response," he explained. this year at the Huffington Post, Dr. Drew Ramsey. The latter is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University, and author of The Happiness Diet. "After all, stress is a phenomenon that goes through the immune system and the brain, and your intestines are the largest organs of your immune system."

Choose a snack that fills you well - like half a avocado, a handful of nuts or hazelnuts, or a hard-boiled egg - because nothing is more stressful to the brain than feeling it lack of food. Eat away from your computer and go sit in a peaceful place. Focus on food: its texture, taste, the feeling it gives you. And now, your snack has become a moment of meditation.

Do you buy a plant

Do you buy a plant

Indoor plants are not just beautiful air purifiers, they also help you relax. Researchers have established that simply standing around plants is enough to trigger a relaxation reaction. According to Prevention magazine, a Washington State University study showed that a group of stressed people entering a room full of plants saw their blood pressure drop by 4%, while an equivalent group but who had not seen the plants only dropped by 2%. Need help choosing which type of plants to buy? Here is a guide to houseplants that can soothe the atmosphere of your home (or your office!) Stay away from the computer A study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, associated a continuous use of the computer with stress, sleep loss, and depression in women. According to the same study, doing computer late at night was also associated with stress - for both men and women. Make sure to take frequent breaks during your day at the computer - and try to log out at least an hour before bedtime.

Stretch your lips

Stretch your lips

kissing relieves stress by helping your brain produce endorphins. And that can have an effect on your daily life: in a study of 2000 couples, Laura Berman, a researcher at Northwestern University in Chicago, found that those who kissed only when they made love were eight times more likely to report chronic stress or depression.

Try this tip of "Naam yoga"

Try this tip of Naam yoga

According to Sharon Melnick, author of the book Success Under Stress, apply pressure to the space between the second and third finger joints (the joints at the base of the index and middle finger) ) can help create a sense of instant calm. "It activates a nerve that relaxes the area near the heart, allowing that feeling of excitement that you feel about going away," Melnick told the Business Insider information site.
Hang up and turn off your phone The laptops are sources of stress, it is absolutely certain. Talking can even increase your blood pressure. Put some music If classical music has a real soothing effect - it slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases stress hormone levels - any music you love will fill your brain with wellness neurohormones, like dopamine. And if music can soothe anxiety on a daily basis (turn up the sound when you get home!), Research has shown that it is particularly beneficial to people who are under stressful circumstances, such as surgery. Do not have headphones at hand? Try to hum or play your own music. A study of stressed nursing students found that playing music for pleasure relieved stress and avoided burnout.

Have fun! Eat one (one only!) Candy
Have fun! Eat one (one only!) Candy

Eating or drinking something sweet has a calming effect because it regulates the production of stress hormones, glucocorticoids (which helps to understand why we sometimes end up fixing the bottom of a package of empty cakes, when the things go wrong). Although this is not a pretext to throw you on the desk vending machine, a square of chocolate, a small candy, or other softness of reasonable size, can help in case of stress.

Or on the contrary, log in

Admittedly, screens can be stressful. But used the right way, there is no reason you can not rely on the Internet to relieve some of your stress. Amanda L. Chan of Healthy Living magazine reported that a clinical study from Cleveland showed that online stress management programs, such as guided meditation, reduced stress levels and increased emotional well-being outcomes in women. a group of 300 people.

Chew a chewing gum

Chew a chewing gum

chewing gum does not just refresh your breath - it can relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress when you're in high demand.

Watch a video that makes the buzz

A good laugh is a good relaxation technique. "Laughter increases the amount of oxygen-rich air you ingest, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by the brain," says the Mayo Clinic website. .

In a counter-intuitive way, laughter begins by activating your stress response and then defusing it, creating a "big eight" effect that leads to a feeling of relaxation.

Better yet, even if you find that the video sent by your Uncle Jacques is not so funny, the mere fact of having anticipated his fun is enough to boost the endorphins.

Gradually relax your muscles

Start with the toes and go back up gradually: contract the muscles of the foot as much as possible, then release them. Reassemble by contracting and releasing each muscle to finish with your face. It sounds silly, but it can help reduce anxiety and stress, and is often recommended for patients with depression or anxiety disorders.

Seriously, turn off your phone.

It's mostly smartphones that are linked to increased stress, as people feel more and more forced to respond to messages at all times.

See your best friend

Friends are not just here to have fun - those who are very close can really reduce your cortisol production, according to a study of kids in college. We think it's the same thing in adulthood. And psychologists are of our opinion.

Eat a banana (or a potato!)

Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, which rises in times of stress. Some people find that eating a banana when stressed helps them regain energy and recover. And research has shown that it can protect your body from the negative effects of stress, such as increased risk of stroke or heart attack. The American Psychological Association recommends it to prevent physical damage from stress as well.

Try the position of the eagle

Many yoga positions are known to relieve stress, as they open the shoulders, relieve tension in the neck and eliminate many physical symptoms of stress.

The position of the eagle is a very good example of how an asana (position in yoga) can target back and neck tension. Learn how to make the position here.


Repetitive movements - such as the precise gestural skills used for knitting, making jewelry, or cross-stitching - can allay anxiety, says Perri Klass, pediatrician and fervent knitter. Dr. Herbert Benson, Mindfulness Expert, agrees: According to him, knitting fulfills two criteria of the mindfulness method: "The repetition of a sound, a word, a prayer or a movement, and setting aside parasitic thoughts to focus on the repetition of the gesture. "

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