Stress Relieving Methods – How Promising Are They?
Most of all, data shows that in today’s hectic pace, a high percentage of people feel stressed at some time or another. Also, survey data shows popular methods or stress reducers people typically use to relieve stress. Moreover, some of these stress reducers have been studied for their effectiveness in relieving stress. And the results of these studies are presented below.
Stress Reducers – Laughter
First of all, laughter is one of the stress reducers. Moreover, laughter provides the following short term benefits.
- First of all, laughter enhances the intake of oxygen
- Next, it stimulates the heart, lungs & muscles
- Also, it increases endorphins released by the brain
- In addition, it cools down the stress response
- And, it increases the heart rate and blood pressure – resulting in a good relaxed feeling
- Finally, it stimulates blood circulation & helps relax muscles
Also, laughter provides the following long term benefits.
- First of all, the positive thoughts from laughter release neuropeptides that help fight stress
- Next, laughter produces its own natural painkillers to relieve pain
- And, laughter makes it easier to cope with difficult situations
- Finally, laughter lessens depression and anxiety – makes you feel happier
Most noteworthy, researchers, at Loma Linda University, found that, 43.6% of people experiencing a good laugh performed significantly better in a memory recall test. On the other hand, only 20.3% of the people that didn’t experience a good laugh performed significantly better in the memory recall test. Furthermore, people experiencing a good laugh had considerably lower levels of cortisol. While people that didn’t experience a good laugh had only a slightly lower level of cortisol.
Additionally, Loma Linda University researchers in 2008, reported cortisol levels dropped 67% 30 minutes after watching a humorous video.
Stress Reducers – Chewing Gum
Most noteworthy, research shows that chewing gum helps relieve stress and anxiety. Above all, the rhythmic motion of chewing helps boost blood flow to the brain.
- First of all, Japanese researchers claim that chewing gum for over 10 minutes reduces stress. Furthermore, the study in the Journal of Prosthodontic Research from Tokyo Dental College, found that cortisol levels (a measure of stress) fell after prolonged gum chewing. Especially relevant, chewing time affects the reaction of the endocrine system to mental stress. Consequently, continuous chewing for more than 10 minutes is effective in reducing stress.
- Next, a study in the journal Stress and Health, showed that chewers were significantly more likely than non-chewers to report less extreme stress at both work and in life.
- Also, a 1939 study in the journal, Science, reported that chewing was believed to be one of the stress reducers by letting go of excess energy and tension through muscle contraction.
- More recently, in 2002 the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation explained that muscle contraction from chewing is a form of exercise, and may have effects on the autonomic nervous system. Most noteworthy, chewing stimulates the vagus nerve in the brain, which acts to lower heart rate, and may in turn increase a relaxed feeling.
- Next, research published in 2009 showed a 15.4% reduction in saliva cortisol level after 10 minutes of chewing when compared to levels under stress. And a 24.6% reduction in saliva cortisol level after a further 10 minutes of chewing when compared to levels under stress.
- Finally, a 2012 study showed those who chewed more than 40 pieces of gum over a 14 day period reported lower stress than those who chewed no gum and those who chewed less gum.
So, next time you’re stressed, chew gum.
Stress Reducers – Drinking Tea
Next, a study in the journal Psychopharmacology reported that drinking black tea, one of the stress reducers, resulted in a 47% drop in cortisol after 50 minutes.
Stress Reducers – Walking In the Woods
Most of all, walking in the woods is one of the stress reducers. And, a 2007 study in Journal of Physiological Anthropology reported significant cortisol level drop walking in woods versus city. Furthermore, a 20 minute walk in the woods decreased cortisol by 15.8%.
Moreover, a stroll soothes the brain and takes away stress. Also, walking briskly or jogging activates soothing neurons in the brain. And, these neurons help dull feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression.
Stress Reducers – Sound
Listening to Sound of Rippling Water
Next, a 2013 study demonstrated that listening to rippling water, one of the stress reducers, had the following effects.
- First of all, there was only a 4% increase in saliva cortisol levels, during the stress event
- And a 35% drop in saliva cortisol levels one hour after the stress event was over
Listening to Relaxing Music
Most of all, listening to relaxing music is one of the stress reducers. In fact, relaxing music can help reduce stress and anxiety, help relieve pain, and reduce stress in patients with heart disease.
Furthermore, the same 2013 study demonstrated that listening to relaxing music (‘Miserere’ by Allegri) has the following effects.
- First of all, there was a 14% increase in saliva cortisol levels, during the stress event
- And a 31% drop in saliva cortisol levels one hour after the stress event was over. However, these cortisol levels were 40% higher when compared with those for listening to rippling water.
Listening to Weightless
Finally, listening to Weightless, is also one of the stress reducers. Most of all, Weightless by Marconi Union reduces levels of stress and anxiety by 65 %.
Stress Reducers – Short Nap
Next, a short nap is one of the stress reducers. Moreover, the diurnal cortisol curve shows that a 30 minute nap results in saliva cortisol level drop of 5%. Most noteworthy, the 30 minute nap is taken in the afternoon between 12 noon and 6 PM. Furthermore, the 30 minute afternoon nap following a stressful event, also reduces your blood pressure.