Sunday, December 4, 2011
Fun Ways to Manage Stress
By Laurel House, Planet Green
Being “stressed” seems to be as trendy as being “on a diet.” Everyone’s doing it, throwing the terms around as if it’s an excuse for a bad mood or short fuse. Problem is: stress has some serious side-effects that can be detrimental to your health and happiness if it isn’t addressed. Of course there are lots of pills to help you ease off angst, but we prefer to do it green – naturally. No drugs, no chemicals, just good natural cures. Our favorite and the most fun by far: Kissing!
1. Reduce Stress with Touching, Kissing, Hugging
Touching, kissing, and hugging (or any other affectionate activities) are activities that stimulate the brain’s release of the hormone oxytocin. If you want to take it up a notch, get a room! Recent studies reveal that the surge of oxytocin released during orgasm can lower blood pressure, calm nerves and tame tension. In fact, according to the British Medical Journal, sex is so good for your heart that it cuts your risk of heart attack and stroke in half when performed three times a week.
2. Reduce Stress by Eating Garlic
The main ingredient in garlic when digested is organosulfur allicin, which triggers your body to produce hydrogen sulfide. The combo creates an internal reaction that relaxes blood vessels and encourages blood flow. Translation: garlic is good for your heart and your head and helps manage stress.
3. Reduce Stress by Eating Chocolate
Balance isn’t just for yoga. In fact, a little bit of chocolate can go a long way when it comes to your diet. Dark chocolate has been shown to be filled with antioxidant flavonoids (which can minimize your risk of heart disease and reduce blood pressure). Some scientists have gone so far as to claim that the sweet stuff has more flavonoids than any other food (including blueberries). According to research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, those said flavonoids help blood vessels relax, helping calm overall stress. Word to the wise, choose the lower fat dark chocolate to milk chocolate. It has a higher count of the good stuff. And of course opt for organic chocolate.
A Few Organic Chocolate Options to Salivate Over:
Dagoba Eclipse 87 percent Organic Extra Dark Chocolate. We are getting crazy here now with this souped up super dark chocolate bar that offers flavor elements of tart and only slightly sweet citrus. Your taste buds start playing tricks on you once you reach this intensity! We also love their annual Seed the Day campaign that supports urban greening activities and encouraging volunteerism.
Shaman Chocolates Organic Dark Chocolate with Acai, Lemon & Orange is Certified Organic, Fair Trade and souped up with superfoods like Acai berries (containing more antioxidants than blueberries or pomegranates).
Amano Artisan Handcrafted Single Origin 70 percent Dark Chocolate—Montanya is, like a fine wine, all about the terroir. Each variety comes from a specific place or origin, which imbues the bar with subtle hints of flavor reflective of the area. Montanya is made from cocoa beans exclusively from the mountains of Venezuela. It has natural flavor notes of apricot, nuts, marshmallow, and spice. This is the art of chocolate.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-fun-ways-to-manage-stress.html#ixzz1fYNrogkN
4. Reduce Stress by Rubbing your Hoku
Your “hoku” is that flap of skin on your palm that connects your pointer finger to your thumb. It’s also an acupressure spot related to upper body tension that, when squeezed, can minimize stress by up to 39 percent—that’s according to scientists at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
5. Reduce Stress by Watching/Reading Something Funny
Laughter is a proven way to ease stress. Even the mere anticipation of something funny has the ability to calm us down thanks to the release of stress hormones like dopac, cortisol and epinephrine. More than easing angst, short funny film clips have been proven to increase blood flow to the heart according to scientists at the University of Maryland.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-fun-ways-to-manage-stress.html#ixzz1fYO343wm