It turns out that there are several scientifically proven methods you can incorporate into your life to reduce your stress levels. And many of these techniques work instantly, wrapping your mind in a calm, nerve-soothing blanket. Here are three to remember the next time you need to relax:
1. Take a deep breath
It sounds oddly simple, and it is, but it’s also extremely effective. The American Institute of Stress calls deep breathing a “super stress reliever.” Anxiety and stress can cause you to take shorter breaths. By deliberately taking a series of deeper acids, you can increase the oxygen supply to your brain, thereby stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for slowing your heart rate, increasing bowel activity and relaxation of stomach muscles. Just a few sets of deep breaths of a series of actions in your body that will leave you incredibly calm.
2. Take a walk
Like other physical activities, walking stimulates the production of endorphins in your body, which stimulates relaxation and improves mood. Walking also improves cognitive abilities by increasing blood flow to the brain. According to a February 2011 study published in the American journal Environmental Science and Technology, walking in green spaces like parks, where you are surrounded by nature, can be even more effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
3. Be artistic
There’s a reason there are so many adult coloring books. According to the US-based Cleveland Clinic website, coloring for adults can be a calming process – it takes the focus away from yourself, allows your brain to relax and not be overwhelmed by anxious thoughts, and acts as an escape. Similarly, you can paint, draw or throw a pot. The US-based Mayo Clinic also recognizes art therapy as an effective relaxation technique and stress relief tactic.
There are also a number of other science-based strategies for staying calm, such as meditation, spending time with pets, hot showers, and even daydreaming for 15 minutes a day.