Feeling stressed? We have a few ideas for you to help lessen it right now, with explanations and links to scientific research backing up these surefire stress busters. Which ones work for you?
- Take a Hike: A study recently found that taking short walks in nature can help lower stress and improve well-being and cognitive health.
- Eat Sushi :A lack of dietary omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to increase stress and anxiety and mess with cognitive function. Two of the best sources of Omega-3s are those tasty sushi staples, seaweed and salmon.
- Pump Some Iron: Harvard researchers report that physical exercise can lower levels of stress hormones while boosting endorphins and other mood enhancing brain chemicals.
- Visit a Museum: A Norwegian study found that men who regularly participate in cultural activities are happier and healthier than their less-cultured counterparts.
- Try a Yoga Class: Yoga has been shown to increase GABA levels in the brain. GABA is a brain chemical that regulates mood, and people with low GABA levels experience increased stress and anxiety.
- Go On Vacation: Vacations have been shown to lower risk for depression and contribute to better overall health and a sense of improved well-being.
- Read a Book: Love to read? Good news: a 2009 study from Sussex University found that reading for just 6 minutes can reduce stress by almost 70%.
- Train Your Brain: Dr. Michael Merzenich says, “training your brain’s attentional control can reduce stress and anxiety.” He recommends trying the BrainHQ Attention Suite exercises (2 of them are free exercises.)
- Dance Your Heart Out: Did you know dancing can lower anxiety and reduce stress? It’s also a form of physical exercise (see #4) so the benefits may be two-fold.