It’s easier than ever to keep that carefree summer serenity going despite the return of the fall hustle and bustle. Experts say these simple stress cures help you channel happy calm and are proven to work even faster and more effectively than many medications!
If you’re feeling edgy, make a beeline for a nearby park or nature reserve. A study in BioScience suggests that looking for birds as you wander through green spaces erases tension and a glum mood in as little as 30 minutes. (Antidepressants take up to six weeks to provide relief!).
Plus, bird-watching can cut the risk of depression and anxiety by 70 percent if you make it a weekly habit. Study co-author Rick Fuller, PhD, says the cheerful sight of birds and the distinct sounds and aromas of green spaces activate the brain nerves that help us feel content.
Indulge in a warm soak.
A daily 20-minute bath helps you stay 45 percent calmer and happier, and lessens chronic stress and anxiety twice as effectively as meds like Paxil can, French scientists say. It creates a spike in core temperature that resets your biological clock, prodding your brain to release mood-steadying hormones (dopamine and oxytocin) during the day, and sleep-deepening melatonin at night.
Chow down on chowder.
Seafood is known to lift the spirits. So much so that enjoying three servings of fish or seafood weekly — in a creamy clam chowder or a cheesy tuna melt, for instance — eases anxiety and blue moods by 63 percent, research in JAMA Network Open found. By comparison, prescription anxiety meds help only half of women who try them. Norman Rosenthal, MD, author of Super Mind (Buy on Amazon, $16), explains that fish’s omega-3s help your brain produce serotonin, the calming “happy hormone”.
Try calming herbs.
An ancient herb called ashwagandha brims with compounds (withanolides) that calm the adrenal glands, reducing their stress hormone release. Holy basil, another soothing herb, encourages brain cells to release the antidepressant hormone serotonin. Pair the two together, and you’ll feel calmer within 72 hours, plus curb your risk of anxiety by up to 70 percent in four weeks, Indian scientists say.
Stress comes from every part of our lives, and sometimes our behavior can be the answer. Try these natural stress cures next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.
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