Slowing Down and Finding Deep Relaxation
It’s no secret that males are active by nature. Just visit any preschool story time at a library, and you’ll see the little girls sitting quietly and the boys running around. Men are kinesthetic, which means they experience the world through body movement and their physical senses. The word “peace” seems to be in opposition with the word “action,” but there really are ways for men to feel peaceful without having to go against their nature.
Work With Your Hands
Any activity that involves a lot of finger movement, such as playing piano, building with wood or Lego bricks, tinkering with a car engine, or even playing video games soothes the brain and reduces stress by as much as 45 percent for two hours, according to research conducted by Harvard University. Handwork has a calming effect because the many nerve endings in your fingertips connect to the brain and build new neural pathways.
Take a Walk
Taking a 15-minute walk can reduce stress by 25 percent for as long as six hours. But you can benefit even more if you do a walking meditation. “The idea is to be in the moment, very conscious and very aware of each breath you take as you walk,” explains Psychic Ariel ext. 9775.
Mindful movement centers you. “Life can be stressful, and it’s easy to get off balance,” says Psychic Reed ext. 5105, who suggests meditation and yoga to some of his callers.
Make Some Noise
Moving your body, clapping your hands, and expressing joy vocally suppresses stress hormones and boosts endorphins. So jump up and down and cheer for your favorite team or let loose at a Green Day concert.
Even just hearing music that you like triggers endorphins in the brain. Singing along helps release tension, but if you’re in a situation that requires less noise, simply humming a tune will do the trick. When you hum, the hypothalamus part of your brain feels the vibration and reacts by shutting down stress hormones, such as adrenalin, and releasing feel-good hormones.
Researchers have discovered that stress hormones are suppressed when we laugh and smile, even if it’s forced. So go ahead and laugh at your co-worker’s jokes, even if you fail to see the humor in them. If your brain can’t tell the difference between a fake laugh and a real one, chances are that your co-worker won’t be able to either. Being friendly with coworkers, especially giving praise, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels within a half hour, according to Herbert Benson, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The reason is that the brain’s natural bonding instincts are stimulated, which makes your heart rate go down and soothes the adrenal glands.
Eat a Snack
Whether you choose pretzels or baby carrots, crunching on snack food reduces stress levels by at least 20 percent. If you’re craving a juicy snack, enjoy a fresh orange. Researchers in Vienna, Austria, found that the scent of orange calms nerves because it triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, which induces feelings of comfort and security. Who would have ever guessed that a piece of fruit could lead to peace of mind?
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