Stress and anxiety are detrimental to our health, productivity and relationships. Over time, elevated stress levels can damage our adrenal health.  Luckily, there are plenty of simple, but highly effective ways to keep our anxiety in check and naturally lower cortisol. 

Here, I give 5 science-backed stress management hacks to reduce cortisol, control anxiety, and lower stress FAST, so you can stop stressing, avoid anxiety attacks, and get back to your life! 

Stress and anxiety are detrimental to our health, productivity, and relationships. For some people, cortisol levels become debilitating, and while it may be nice to go on a long, extravagant relaxation retreat, for most of us this isn’t a reality. Even if it is, it’s a temporary one that eventually we all have to leave to come back to the daily grind. Luckily, there are plenty of simple but highly effective ways to keep our anxiety in check in the middle of our workday. Are you ready to go through five fast-acting cortisol-reducing stress-relieving anxiety-busting moves backed by science that you can do anytime and anywhere, no retreat necessary? Let’s go! 

 

    1. Pump up the jam! Music has been shown to be an effective cortisol reducer. Calming genres like light jazz and classical music work best, but honestly the choice is personal! If you find screamo relaxing, go for it! After all, a good scream session is actually the second tip…
    2. Scream! According to researchers at Keele University, enraged yelling and swearing can help reduce stress and increase pain tolerance. So, the next time your boss makes you just want to scream – DO IT! Preferably in a soundproof room or somewhere where they can’t hear you.
    3. Laugh! A 2016 study suggests that, based on the physiological responses, doctors really should probably write a prescription for laughter. It turns out that laughter may truly be the best medicine. So go ahead and break out those #FAIL videos or dog memes or whatever it is that makes you laugh!
    4. Chew gum! If you’re feeling chewed out, flip the script and chew it out! Researchers say gum chewing might buffer the effects of stress on the brain. Chewing gum can help you focus, be more productive, more alert, and, added bonus, keeps your teeth clean!
    5. Forest bathing! There’s a lot of research showing the benefits of forest bathing or getting into nature in order to lower your cortisol. But what if you’re stuck in your cubicle? No problem! Bring the forest to you with a plant. A green plant increases your ability to concentrate, your prosocial behaviors, your physical health, your creativity, your productivity, and your job satisfaction – all while simultaneously decreasing cortisol, blood pressure, and anxiety. Pretty good for a little plant! And don’t worry – if you have a black thumb like me and tend to struggle keeping plants alive for some reason, plastic plants work just as well. Turns out our brains don’t know the difference!

Until next time live more, fear less! 

-R

 

Resources and links to the science:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306453015002127?via%3Dihub

https://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2011/04/21/use-foul-language-to-relieve-stress-and-pain/?sh=5511d5875aca

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1559827614550279

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6410656/