Stress and anxiety can hit us at the most inconvenient times.
But even if you only have six seconds to spare you can implement one of these five techniques and feel calmer.
1. Chew gum.
When we are afraid our bodies move into fight or flight mode and we are flooded with adrenaline, which can make us feel anxious. In fight or flight mode, non-essential bodily functions such as digestion are shut down. You can trick the body out of fight or flight mode by chewing gum. The mind thinks that if the body feels safe enough to eat – then all must be well!
2. Give a hug
When you give someone you love a hug, the brain releases oxytocin, which has become known as the love hormone. Oxytocin eases stress and helps us feel calm, happy and relaxed. For best results, the hug must be at least six seconds long.
3. Eat a banana
Many depression medications are designed to increase levels of serotonin but you can boost levels yourself by eating a banana. Bananas contain high levels of tryptophan, which the body converts into serotonin, the happy-mood neurotransmitter.
4. Do a good deed
Studies show that giving, whether money, gifts or time, increases our happiness. People who spend money on others, give to charity or do volunteer work are happier than those who don’t. Scientific studies have suggested that giving to others and co-operating with them can stimulate the reward areas in the brain, helping to create positive feelings. So drop your spare change in a charity box for an instant happiness boost.
5. Listen to music
Music has been shown to stimulate brainwaves which change mood. Slow, gentle music can slow the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease levels of stress hormones. Really listening to the music can act as a distraction and help reduce the repetitive negative thoughts that can lead to stress and anxiety.