Meditation, yoga, running a 5K …. All good choices to manage stress. But sometimes you just need to do something quick. And fun!
If you’ve got five minutes you’ve got enough time to try one of these silly stress busters. What are you waiting for?
Eat some oranges
If day-to-day hassles make you want to pull your hair out, grab a few oranges. In a Brazilian study, 42 students—a group known to be frazzled—were randomly put in two groups. One group got 500 mg of a vitamin C supplement and one group got a placebo. At the end of two weeks, the vitamin C group had less anxiety and a lower heart rate than those who got the placebo. 1
Don’t care for oranges? Other foods high in C include red peppers, papaya, kiwi and broccoli. Or, considered taking a high-quality daily supplement such as ENDUR-C® 500mg Vitamin C with Rose Hips.
Sniff some peppermint or cinnamon
Those scents can actually help reduce stress according to a study out of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV. The study looked at subjects under the guise of the most stressful circumstance—getting stuck in traffic. When exposed to peppermint and cinnamon scents, the drivers demonstrated decreased levels of frustration, anxiety, and fatigue.2
A bonus? They were also more alert.
So when the going gets rough, light some cinnamon or peppermint candles, chew some cinnamon and peppermint gum, and be sure to have a cinnamon or peppermint air freshener in your car!
Fake a smile
You’ve heard the term, Just grin and bear it? Well grinning may actually help you not only bear a stressful situation, but actually enjoy it. Research at the University of Kansas found that participants who were told to smile during a series of stressful multi-tasking activities actually had lower heart rate levels and self-reported stress levels than those who held their face in a neutral position.3
Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal
When your nerves are shot, whip yourself up a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is high in complex carbohydrates, which helps raise serotonin levels in the brain. How does that help? Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that helps transmit impulses between the nerve cells, and one of its main effects is to improve mood and calm the brain.
Stress activates your fight or flight system. Because your body thinks it’s going to need to run away fast, your heartbeat begins to race and you start to breathe faster and faster in order to get more oxygen into the lungs.
Taking long, slow, deliberate breaths can help to counteract this. And make you feel better. Next time stress hits, put your hand on your lower belly. Inhale for a count of five, hold for two seconds, then breathe out for six seconds. Focus on your hand on your belly and notice how it expands and contracts.
Any time your heart gets pumping, your brain starts to pump out endorphins. Those are hormones that flow through your body that actually help you feel good. Plus the repetitive motion of the jump rope can help take you out of your going-going-going mind and instead, help you relax and focus.
And remember, your body has a tougher time fighting stress when it’s dehydrated. So when you’re exercising, always remember to keep well-hydrated. That means at least an extra glass of water or two for every one-half hour of exercise.
And to help your body absorb the water you’re drinking, consider taking Replace® SR Sustained Release Electrolytes. Each tablet uses our advanced delivery technology to release electrolytes slowly over a 4- to 6-hour period as your body needs them to help you absorb the water you drink to stay hydrated. And it’s available in 3-tablet packets, for on-the-go convenience when you want to jump rope in the park. Just pop one in a purse, pocket or backpack, and you’re set!*
1. de Oliveira IJ, de Souza VV, Motta V, Da-Silva SL. Effects of Oral Vitamin C Supplementation on Anxiety in Students: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Pak J Biol Sci. 2015;18(1):11-8. PMID: 26353411.
2. Raudenbush B, Grayhem R, Sears T, Wilson I. Effects of peppermint and cinnamon odor administration on simulated driving alertness, mood and workload. N Am J Psychol. 2009;11(2):245-256.
3. Kraft TL, Pressman SD. Grin and bear it: the influence of manipulated facial expression on the stress response. Psychol Sci. 2012;23(11):1372-8. PMID: 23012270.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.