With so much uncertainty in the world, multiple things are stressing people out.
Frustrated because you’re still working from home? Struggling to help your kids learn online? Worried about finances? The list can seem endless.
Research proved long ago stress is not good for your health. For starters, it hampers your immune system. There plenty of ways to help manage occasional stress. Here are some creative ones you may not have considered.
1. Reach for the stars — with your eyes
Need a new perspective? Try focusing on your posture. Studies show that whether you slump your shoulders and look down or sit up straight with your head held high is related to your mood. Research showed that people who slumped were more likely to give up on things. And those with good posture could more easily generate positive thoughts.
You can take that even further by looking all the way up for some night sky therapy. Gazing at the expanse of stars on a clear night can fill you with peace and calmness, helping to put your worries in perspective.
Also, stars are universal: We’re all in this together, underneath the same night sky. That is a comforting thought. Plus – it’s free!
If it’s cloudy or you’re surrounded by light pollution, you should still look up. Studies show your posture is related to your mood.
2. Go fishing for aquarium therapy
You have probably heard about forest bathing or natural therapy, where people look to nature for its calming effects.
But what if you’re stuck inside or in an urban environment? Consider getting a fish tank. Studies have found that watching fish helps reduce stress, increases feelings of relaxation and decreases heart rate and muscle tension.
Need to test it out? Visit your local pet store and become mesmerized. Warning: You might end up leaving with an aquarium of your own.
3. Try humming
Did you know that when you hum, you are literally vibrating your brain and that vibration has a calming effect on you? That’s because it activates the vagus nerve, which helps tell your body that all is well.
Humming for about three minutes has a calming effect while also waking up your brain cells. You can’t really put that into practice during an in-person work meeting, but you can always use that mute button online.
4. Connect with your people
Spending quality time with your social circle is always a good for the soul. Plus, research shows that people without strong social connections are more susceptible to disease and illness.
Make time for the important people in your life, whether it’s in a video call, socially distant gathering or just picking up the phone. You’ll feel better and so will they.
5. Find a furry friend — for you and your kids
Pets are soothing. We already talked about fish, but your furrier friends can help, too. Research shows people who were petting a dog registered a drop in blood pressure. And, according to a survey in the United Kingdom, 87 percent of cat owners reported that their kitties had a positive impact on their wellbeing, while 76 percent reported being better able to cope with daily life because of their cat.
As a bonus, pets also help support the immune system. While you may bemoan the extra cleaning that comes with a pet, the dirt and germs they bring inside with them actually contribute to a healthy immune system for young children.
6. Might as well jump! (seriously)
Did you like jumping on a trampoline as a child? It was a lot of fun, right? An immediate mood booster. You can recreate that with a mini-tramp in your home. It’s a fun, low-impact way to boost your endorphins.
And this also comes with a bonus. Jumping up and down, also known as rebounding, stimulates your lymphatic system, which is a key part of your immune system. Try it 3-5 times per week for 10-15 minutes at a time and see how you feel.
7. Ground yourself
No, you’re not putting yourself in timeout. Grounding is a term used for calming your mind, especially at the height of occasional stress or anxiety. It forces you to step back and focus on what’s going on inside and outside.
There are several ways to approach it. One of the more common is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, which highlights your five senses.
Stop what you’re doing and start searching for five things you can see, then four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste. You could do this in your current surroundings or envision yourself in your own special happy place.
8. Grab a coloring book
There’s a reason there are so many coloring books on the market targeting adults: It’s a great way to calm down and focus on something enjoyable.
Many of the books feature mandalas, the circular designs that can help turn coloring into meditating.
If you can’t see yourself picking up crayons or colored pencils, seek out one of the many coloring book apps that are available. In this digital world, it might be just the thing you need.
9. Boost your vitamin C intake
Research shows a connection between vitamin C deficiency and occasional stress. Keep your levels up by choosing foods that are high in vitamin C.
Not of fan of oranges? Don’t worry, plenty of other foods can deliver the large doses of vitamin C you need, including guava, chili peppers and bell peppers.
10. Consider a new coat of paint
Your stressful day can be less overwhelming if you come home to a sea of blue or a field of lavender.
Not literally, of course, just on your walls. Painting your rooms certain colors can actually make you relax. Colors proven to boost your mood include blue, violet, pink and green.
Supplements can provide extra support
You can always give your immune system some extra support with key supplements.
Vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, not only supports strong bones and heart health but also helps support your immune system.* If lounging in the sun everyday doesn’t fit in your schedule, look at dietary sources of vitamin D or a supplement, like Nutrilite™ Vitamin D.
If you can’t get enough of the vitamin C-rich foods listed above to help support the healthy function of your immune system, consider Nutrilite™ Vitamin C Extended Release, which slowly releases the vitamin over 8 hours for maximum absorption.†
Nutrilite™ Immunity Defense Zinc + Holy Basil provides essential nutrients to support your respiratory and immune systems† and Nutrilite™ Immunity Echinacea provides support for your body’s own defenses.†
Tackle that stress
Don’t let occasional stress overwhelm you. With so many choices, you should be able to find something to help calm your frazzled nerves and support your immune system. Looking for more tips? Check out our other blogs about stress on Amway Connections.
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†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.