Are upcoming holidays starting to make you feel stressed? Between work and family pressures, it’s no wonder that over half of us say we’re feeling stressed. And, 91% of us wish we could find some quick, easy way to unwind. Stress experts recommend sniffing bergamot. Extracted for the rind of the bergamot orange native to Asia but also grown in Italy, this essential oil was used by ancient Egyptians to help boost calm and relaxation. Bergamots uniquely targets certain brain receptors, creating an instant sedative effect similar to Valium’s on the central nervous system. Health food stores carry bergamot. Or, sip Earl Gray tea which is heavily flavored with bergamot oil. The oil should not be used directly on skin.
Another trick is sharing a joke. Cracking up with a pal vastly increases feel-good endorphins and decreases the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine. Wish you could hear Janessa B’s deep and beautiful laugh–>
Yoga significantly slashes the psychological stress that leads to heart disease. Daughter Janice recommends the “child pose” which lowers stress-induced blood pressure by 31%! For me, lap swimming does it. I feel downright joyous when I’m a half hour into it, at the 20-lap point.
Certain foods are known to produce happy, calming hormones. Pop pumpkin seeds, loaded with tryptophan, or crunch magnesium-rich almonds, a top stress-busting mineral. Peel and eat an orange, rich in vitamin C, which returns your blood pressure back after a tense situation.