Unconventional ways to beat stress

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Unconventional ways to beat stress

Unconventional ways to beat stress

Unconventional ways to beat stress

Stress is a common problem that almost everyone faces in today’s world. A definition of stress attributed to Richard S Lazarus is that it is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that “demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”

As per Ash Nadkarni, MD, an associate psychiatrist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital long term exposure to stress hormones can cause increased risk of health problems including anxiety, depression, heart disease, weight gain, and memory and concentration problems.

While, we cannot eliminate stress altogether from our lives, but we can surely find ways to deal with it effectively. Here are a few suggested ways to beat stress.


The scent therapy claims that certain scents can be soothing. Brooklyn-based therapist and social worker La Shawn M. Paul recommends adding a few drops of your preferred scent to plain oconut oil after a relaxing bath allowing the scent to linger on.

Experts say smells arouse the limbic system, which releases chemicals that has an effect on the brain, causing calmness, peace, love and energy. Some oils used frequently for mental relief are lavender, cypress and rosemary.

In a 2012 study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers found that essential oils can lower heart rate and blood pressure following short-term exposure and they also had positive effects on the symptoms of anxiety.

Hit the pool

A study carried out in Sweden which was published in the International journal of stress management that the body’s relaxation response gets triggered by floating in water and this helps in lowering stress hormone levels.

Iron away the creases and your anxiety

Feeling weary? Iron it out. Research has shown that rhythmic, repetitive actions like petting your dog or ironing your clothes helps trigger your relaxation response. When you focus on one activity the mind achieves a zen like state and becomes quiet and your stress gets reduced.

Drink Orange juice

Researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study giving rats 200 milligrams of Vitamin C two times per day and found it nearly stopped the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. So next time you feel stressed, have some glasses of orange juice that might do the trick.

Rubbing your ear

Rubbing your ear lobes is a great stress buster. Doing the gentle massage on ears releases endorphins in the brain, which make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Rub your ear lobes with your thumb and index finger and also bony parts of your skull behind the ears to lessen your stress level.

Look at Fractals

Research shows that fractal patterns like ocean waves, snowflakes, or even swirls in a painting soothe the mind. Indulging yourself in a fractal-rich environment for 20 minutes a day could help you de-stress.

Beer bath

Get drenched in the pool of beer.  There has been an increase in number of beer spas that includes beer bath packages. These spas claim to beat the stress. There have been no records found to prove this theory. The idea is that the hops found in beer are phytoestrogens, and its smell could be de-stressing, so don’t just gulp it all down, have a bath, if nothing else you will have beautiful tresses.

Watch cat dance

You may find this weird and amusing but it is true that watching cat dance will uplift your mood. As per Rose Hanna,”, a relationship counsellor and professor of psychology and women’s studies at California State University Long Beach, looking at funny cat videos after a stressful day can actually activate the part of the brain that delivers tranquillity and a calm physiological response.

A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour has found that watching funny cat videos and pictures online could boost energy levels and increase feelings of happiness. Data shows two million cat videos were posted on YouTube as of 2014 so go ahead and take your pick.


It may sound slightly weird but talking calmly to oneself is the best thing you can do under stress. Without worrying about looking crazy, just talk to yourself citing reasons for stress and your action plans, and convincing yourself that all is well. You can also think and talk to yourself about one of your funniest or joyous experience. At the end of the conversation, you will surely feel rejuvenated and relaxed.

Join a Laughter club

Join a laughter club or laugh out loud in your own home. Few good laughs a day can reduce your stress in a big way. Your daily dose of laughs will relax your brain and provide you some peace. It is a good practice to follow. Watch comedies, share jokes just laugh out loud. Laughter is one of the best muscle-relaxants and helps in increasing blood flow and reducing levels of stress hormones Epineprine and Cortisol.

Adult colouring books

Colouring books are no longer reserved for kids with adult colouring books becoming all the rage right now. Colouring has therapeutic value which can reduce anxiety, create determination and bring more mindfulness.

Researchers and therapists have been speaking about the calming effect colouring causes. Research in 2005 showed that anxiety levels dropped when subjects coloured mandalas, which are round frames with geometric patterns inside. Just like meditation, colouring also allows switching off of our brains from other thoughts and focus only on the moment.