Stress can creep up on you in seconds
Stress can creep up on you in seconds: when the car in front of you goes too slowly; when your kid throws a tantrum; when your spouse leaves a dirty dish nowhere near the kitchen (again!). We could go on and on. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could zap stress just as quickly as it comes on, bringing our nervous system to a zen state?
By trying a few of these tips, that’s actually possible… and also important. Managing stress is crucial not only for your mental state, but also for your heart health. Here’s where science comes to the rescue, as there are actual proven ways to decrease your stress levels instantly.
Science suggests taking a nature ‘pill’
According to a 2019 physiology study, a 20-minute walk can lower your stress hormones, even in an urban environment (so city people, get out there too). The key is to walk in a spot that provides you with a sense of nature for 20 to 30 minutes. Do this three times a week at any time of day without social media or conversations, and your level of cortisol – the body’s main stress hormone – will likely drop. Can’t walk? Sitting in your favourite nature spot will have a similar calming effect, the study suggests.
Science suggests breathing deeply
Deep breathing can send a message to your brain that it’s time to calm down. Your brain sends the message to your body, and your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, so changing your breathing potentially can change the way you feel, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed Frontiers in Psychology.