16 July 2017

7 Scientific Ways to Instantly Lower Stress

If you’ve noticed yourself feeling particularly stressed out more than usual lately, chances are you’re on the hunt for a way to find relief. You can find comfort in knowing you’re certainly not alone, but what may work for some, doesn’t always work for others. 

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of seven of the best, scientifically-proven ways to instantly lower stress. 

Check out the list below and see which options may work best for you.

1. Progressive Relaxation & Meditation



Chances are, you’ve already heard of meditation, but how familiar are you with progressive muscle relaxation? It turns out, a combination of both has been proven to instantly reduce stress, relieve tension, and improve mood. 

For this technique, you’ll need to find a place where you can relax more easily, whether sitting up or lying down. To begin, it usually helps to start at the top of your body and work your way down, beginning with your neck and shoulders. 

Try tensing a specific set of muscles, like shrugging your shoulders, as you breathe in, then as you breathe out, allow yourself to relax those muscles. If you need to, move around a bit to loosen any tightness you may feel. Then move onto your arms, your midsection, your hips, legs, then finally your feet. 

Throughout this method, it’s important to take deep breaths and focus only on your breathing and the relaxation of your muscles. By doing so, you can experience both progressive relaxation and meditation at the same time. Within just five minutes you can begin to feel less stressed and more relaxed.

2. Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

To explain it scientifically, essential oils work to reduce stress because there are 50 million smell receptors within the nasal cavity that are directly linked to the part of the brain responsible for emotions. Not to mention, they simply smell good! 

Some of the best essential oils for reducing stress include lavender, chamomile, and vanilla. Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils, thanks to its sweet, floral scent. It’s also been shown to promote sleep so you may benefit from spraying a light amount of lavender essential oil on your pillow to help ease you into a good night’s rest. Chamomile has also been shown to help calm nerves and relieve anxiety, while vanilla has that comforting, familiar smell that just about everyone knows and loves. 

3. Drink Tea
Tea has been used for hundreds of years for a variety of purposes, one being to help both the mind and body relax. It’s hard to deny the relaxing, comforting feeling a warm cup of tea can provide. In fact, in ancient Asian medicine, tea was actually viewed as medicinal. Tea is certainly an all-natural way to slow down and relieve anxiety in a short period of time. 

Some of the best teas for stress relief include passionflower, chamomile, lavender, ginseng, and skullcap. Find a quiet place to sit down and sip on a warm cup of any of those teas and feel your body begin to relax. If you combine that cup of tea with other techniques such as progressive relaxation, you may find that stress is now a thing of the past. 

4. Take A Supplement or Pill

For those who don’t mind taking a pill if it means finding relief from stress, supplements and medications are a great option. Of course, you should speak to your doctor before taking anything, especially if you’re already on another medication, but there’s a wide variety of supplements and medicines available that can help you find relief.

In terms of supplements, melatonin, magnesium, and vitamin B-complex have all been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. You could also benefit from high dosage cyclobenzaprine to achieve relaxation for both your mind and your body. After speaking with your doctor, you may find that taking any of the options above with a glass of water is just what you needed for a bit of relaxation.


5. Exercise 
According to MayoClinic, an exercise in just about any form works as a great way to relieve stress. How exactly does it work? It turns out that when you participate in physical activity, it floods your body with endorphins, which are essentially “feel-good hormones.” Additionally, as pointed out by MayoClinic, exercise can feel like “meditation in motion” because suddenly instead of focusing on whatever it was you were stressed about, you’ve instead escaped into the activity you’re taking part in. 

Plus, there’s no denying how good you feel once you’ve completed a workout or physical activity. It’s hard to stay stressed or tense when you’ve got a good amount of exercise! However, it’s important to stay consistent so that you can fight chronic stress and keep stress levels to a minimum over time. 

6. Take A Nap 
Sometimes you just need a bit of an escape. Or perhaps you’re so exhausted simply because you haven’t gotten enough rest. That’s where a nap comes in. Even if it’s just a quick snooze, a bit of rest can work wonders for the mind and body. You can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your next project with less tension and a fresh mind. 


7. Listen to Music 
Sure, there’s nothing like jamming to your favorite song or belting out the words to the latest tune, but you likely didn’t realize the stress-relieving benefits of music. In case you haven’t yet realized, music has a powerful effect on our moods, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that it works as a great tool for managing stress. 

Whether you turn on slow jams and instrumental music or you rock out to whatever’s playing on the radio, music provides a great escape unlike anything else. Avoid music that could potentially effect your mood in a negative way and go for the tunes you know will brighten your day and relieve stress. 
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