The days are getting shorter, darker, and cooler — and our to-do lists are getting longer and longer. No wonder two in three women say this is the time of year when tension, edginess, and anxiety begin to climb. Experts say these simple strategies can shut down anxiety in a flash — plus steady your moods all season long!
Massage Your Brows
Relaxing your eyebrows with a 60-second massage can help you feel calmer and more content for one hour straight — and giving yourself a brow rub once each hour could cut your blood pressure by as much as 10 percent. According to Stanford University scientists, when your forehead muscles relax, your brain responds by producing calming alpha waves. Brow massages also stimulate acupressure points that can prompt the release of mood-steadying compounds.
Leave a Happy Note
Posting little notes for your loved ones thanking them for a job well done or just reminding them that they’re loved helps 96 percent of women prevent upticks in stress and worry. It can even cut edginess by 55 percent the first time you do it! Explains psychologist Michael Smith, PhD., putting positive thoughts on paper and sharing them with others calms the anxiety center of the brain.
Nosh on Roasted Veggies
Roasting caramelizes vegetable sugars, bringing out yummy flavors while hiding bitterness. And that’s good news for your mood! Research from the journal Frontiers in Psychology suggests that 1 cup of vegetables can help us instantly destress — and eating 2.5 cups daily can boost your mood by as much as 66 percent all season long. As psychologist Tamlin Conner, PhD., vegetables are rich in carotenoids, or nutrients that impact the brain — just like prescription antidepressants!
Speed-Clean Your Kitchen
When you’re feeling edgy, take 90 seconds to turbo through an everyday chore, such as wiping off the counter, or putting away clean dishes. Brief-but-vigorous bursts of motion can prompt your pituitary gland to release endorphins, hormones which Yale University researchers say can help you feel 65 percent calmer and more energized for up to 90 minutes straight.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.