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Date: 1st September 2009
1. Learn Bo-Tau - Breath Optimised Transformational Unblocking. This technique helps you to use your lungs to lower your stress load.
2. Have a cup of tea - Experts in China have found that polyphenols in green tea reduce the damaging impact of stress on the brain while increasing levels of calming chemicals in the body.
3. Take Rhodiola - This serotonin-boosting herb has been used for its pressure-fighting properties in environments as diverse as chilly Siberia and in space.
4. Get physical - According to research at the University of Zurich, spending 10 minutes connecting physically in some way with someone before a bad day will lower your levels of stress hormones. The effect is believed to be linked to raised levels of the calming hormone oxytocin.
5. Watch your weight - The more fat your body carries, the more menatlly affected by stress you become. Dr Lilianne Mujica-Parodi from New York's Stony Brook University says, "we found that the more fat people carry, the more cortisol they produce, and the worse their mind is affected."
6. Chew gum - Professor Andrew Scholey from Melbourne's Swinburne University has found that chewing gum lowers cortisol levels and reduces feelings of anxiety.
7. Walk more slowly - The faster we walk, the more srtessed out we are likely to be, say doctors at California State University. If you don't find it easy to slow your steps, try walking meditation. "Simply become more aware of the physical act of walking", says yoga teacher Heather Mason.
8. Eat a healthy breakfast - The higher the fat content of your breakfast, the worse your reaction to stress will be during the day.
9. Fight it virtually - While computers can be a major source of angst (54 per cent of us shout at them daily, says University of Bolton research), stress busting via your PC is a hot new trend. From US doctors offering meditation spaces in the virtual world Second Life.
10. Get a Mantra - Researchers have found that people who spend five weeks practising mantram repetition lower their stress levels by 23.5 per cent and suffer less insomnia and less rumination over unwanted thoughts. Any phrase will work. Chose something calming.
Many reasons to start taking care of your mental and physical health today!
Article by Helen Foster in this months Psychologies.