Even before there was a global pandemic, you were likely stressed: According to the American Psychological Association’s 2017 Stress in America report, more than 60 percent of adults felt stressed about money, work, and the nation’s future.1 With the COVID The 19 Pandemic, Stress Numbers Rise: The same 2020 report found that 67 percent of Americans experienced an increase in stress over the course of the pandemic
A little stress – rushing to the bus, worrying about how the interview went – is inevitable. But constant stress can increase your risk of mental illnesses like depression3 as well as physical illnesses like heart disease.4 And it can put strain on your relationships too. In the 2020 Stress in America study, 20 percent of adults reported being quick to snap or get angry, and 17 percent admitted yelling or yelling at a loved one because of stress
It can also affect ours Success in losing weight: Our ability to choose healthy foods is impaired when we are stressed. 5
All of these stress risk factors can make you feel more stressed, so we’re going to stop – and offer these seven simple and natural ways to relieve stress and reduce your risks, improve your relationships, and meet your weight loss goals.
1. Take a five-minute break to play a casual video game.
With their constant access to the latest event updates and the FOMO of social media, our phones are usually a stressful factor. But used correctly, your miracle device can also help reduce stress. In a study of 66 students suffering from computer-based “cognitive fatigue,” the researchers had the groups take one of three types of five-minute breaks: One group sat in a room with no phone or computer and did nothing. Another group took part in a guided relaxation activity. And a third group played five minutes of a casual video game. The video game group saw a similar reduction in stress as the guided relaxation group. However, they were also the only group who said they felt better after the break
What is a “casual video game”? In the study, the authors describe them as “recreational games that are easy to play, easy to learn and can be played at short intervals”. The authors specifically mention Candy Crush and Angry Birds. But for a new one, try the game the study participants played: Sushi Cat 2, a simple game where players navigate a cat to collect and eat sushi.6 The description of this game alone can relieve stress !
2. Spend 10 minutes outdoors.
Scientists have long known that time in nature provides a natural stress reliever. In 2020, however, scientists found the minimum effective dose: just 10 minutes away from the stress of civilization were enough to improve mood and concentration while lowering blood pressure and heart rate. And you don’t even have to do anything in nature: these benefits came while sitting or walking
If you have 15 minutes and can sit in a forest, even better, “forest bathing,” a Japanese pastime where people recharge by sitting between the trees, has been shown to improve your immune system and cancer prevention8 as well as a reduction in cortisol, one Hormone Associated with Stress 9
3. Move around.
Sitting in the woods is great, but sometimes you have to move your body to overcome this stress. Scientists believe exercise helps with natural stress relief by increasing a brain protein called galanin.10 Whatever the reason it works, strollers have been shown to be more enthusiastic, less nervous, and relaxed at lunch for 30 minutes of weight training Has been shown to reduce overall fatigue, reduce symptoms of depression in people diagnosed with clinical depression, and reduce symptoms of anxiety in healthy adults
Why not both? Combine your daily walk with one of these 10 workouts that you can do right in your living room! >
4. To stroke a dog or cat for 10 minutes:
Looking at pictures of cute animals may make you feel less stressed. However, it’s not like the reality! When participants in a charming study were given pet cats or dogs for 10 minutes, their levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, dropped significantly more than those who only watched animal slideshows. 13
You don’t have a cuddly boyfriend yourself? If you can safely visit a friend and keep some social distance, petting their pet – or plan to volunteer at your local animal shelter if you feel safe to do so.
5. Order a shrimp cocktail.
When you think of “stress-eating” foods, luxurious, high-calorie foods likely come to mind. This makes sense: as mentioned above, stress can affect our ability to choose healthy foods.
But one seemingly decadent food is great for stress reliever and surprisingly good for your calorie control: shellfish. Mussels, clams, oysters, and shrimp are rich in an amino acid called taurine14, which has been shown to have antidepressant properties.15 They also contain zinc16, a mood-enhancing mineral.17
Prepared without butter sauces, these crustaceans and mussels also help you stick to the plan: A 300g serving of shrimp (8 or 9 shrimp, depending on size) is only one PowerFuel on Food system! Are you looking for another delicious and easy way to make shrimp? Try this Cajun Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil Recipe! >
6. Drink (or eat) matcha.
Among its many health benefits, green tea has long been shown to reduce stress. So it’s no wonder that its highly concentrated form, finely ground matcha powder, does the same. And it works whether you drink this green powder18 or even eat it: In a study of 36 people, those who ate matcha-fortified cookies for two weeks had a lower stress marker compared to a group with green powder. free.19 What a delicious method for natural stress relief!
Get your own package and try these Nutrisystem approved ones Matcha blueberry muffins, in this surprisingly sweet one Match melon smoothie or in your own, homemade, guilt-free Iced Matcha Latte.
7. Do a simple body scan meditation.
You don’t have to be a mindfulness master to get stress-relieving benefits from meditation: Scientists have found that even one of the most basic meditation practices, a body scan, has natural stress-relieving effects
In a body scan, meditators purposely focus on each area of the body, one at a time, trying to really experience that segment of the body – for example, how your back is in contact with the chair you are sitting in and how the chair feels on your back. You can find short, guided body scans on YouTube or in your favorite podcast app.
* Always speak to your doctor if you feel excessively stressed, sad, or anxious.