More than half of Brits are suffering from ever-rising levels of stress. Why not try one of these weird and wonderful stress-busting techniques every day to make sure you don’t join them?
Screw in a new light bulb
No, it’s not a bad ‘how many stressheads does it take to screw in a light bulb?’ joke.
Research shows that a high-wattage light bulb increases stress levels and triggers appetite (which may be why there’s so much strip lighting at fast food restaurants).
Change your high-powered bulb to a lower wattage one for an instant hit of calm.
Own a cat
Not only are they the right balance of cute and independent, cats are officially good for your health. Research shows that owning a cat leaves you feline fine as it reduces the risk of heart attacks, improves immunity and reduces blood pressure.
It’s long been believed that creativity offers stress relief, so it’s no surprise that a recent news story reported that publishers are repackaging children's colouring-in books as anti-stress aids after French women use them to ease neuroses.
Well, have you ever seen a stressed-out kid?
Pop a probiotic
Your stomach – or more accurately your gut - is your second brain, hence the term ‘follow your gut instinct’. Your gut houses 80% of your body’s serotonin, also known as the feelgood hormone – so it’s vital to keep it happy.
Treat yourself to a probiotic to flood your gut with good-feeling bacteria.
The simple act of chewing not only leaves your gnashers feeling minty fresh it also relieves stress. Plus it makes you more alert and helps with multi-tasking, according to research.
Blow up a balloon
Keep a pack of balloons to hand as the act of inflating a balloon is great stress relief.
Deep controlled breaths help relieve stress because you have to use your diaphragm which kick-starts your parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn reduces the heart rate.
While the thought of allowing snakes to crawl all over you doesn’t sound relaxing, recent research claims a snake massage will help with stress levels.
Not only does this help with breaking down cellulite but the pressure of dry brushing also stimulates blood flow, helping lower stress levels in the body.
Have a beer bath
The eau de brewery smell aside, bathing in beer is said to be good for the skin and helps to lower stress levels. The magical ingredient is hops, which has a calming effect on the body.
Some European spas offer beer baths, but you can enjoy an ‘ale’ and hearty soak by picking up a kit from most health food stores.
Right-handed? Try doing everything with your left hand - a change of perspective is good for relieving stress, according to research.