Everyone has a moment in life when they have mammoth tasks to deal with and they have not the slightest clue how to go about it. Be it because you are just out of college and you have no idea where to start looking for a job, or because you just joined college and you do not know how to deal with the transition, they are all stressing situations. When you think about it, life is a series of stages, and since each one is a change and it is new, you do not know how to cope with it. That is the perfect recipe for stress. However, there are human beings with refined minds who decided to put them to use and devise ways to deal with stress. The result? All the ways were ingenious, most work, some do not, but others tend more towards the strange. You will read about some of these ones here.

Exchange affection

When you are dead tired smack in the middle of a seemingly endless day, the best you can do is take a nap, right? Not. Although it is a good idea to get yourself a room. Not to sleep in, but to exchange some affection with a loved one. That probably does not sound right, but science is science. Kissing, hugging, touching, and all other forms of expressing affection are healthy on a stressful day. In fact, reports indicate that the more intense it is the better. The explanation is that intimate acts stimulate the release of oxytocin by the brain. Studies show that the sudden increase in bodily oxytocin that occurs in the body as you orgasm has the potential to lower blood pressure, relieve tension, and calm your nerves. Still don’t believe? The British Medical Journal records that performed at least thrice a week, sex has the potential to eliminate half the risk of getting a stroke, or heart attack.

Inflate a balloon

Not a hot air balloon or anything, might be a prudent addition at this point because most people probably cannot begin to comprehend the rationale behind such an action. But hey, it’s there. You need air to inflate a balloon and since you cannot use a pump, at least not for this exercise, you must inhale the air in deep breaths and exhale it strongly into the balloon. Stress can easily cause anxiety and this is usually associated in quick shallow breaths. Therefore, using balloon has all the benefits if breathing deep. You relax even before you know it. To ramp up the benefits here, it might help to use one of those ridiculously small balloons. Why? Because you are bound to fail at least a couple of times. If you give up in the process and opt to take a breath instead, chances are that you will realize just how funny the situation is and blurt out laughing, another stress therapy mechanism.

Get yourself a rubber wristband

There are some things that are part of your life and stress you habitually. If you are a student, writing great essays or papers can be one such thing, especially if you cannot get help doing it.  You can condition yourself in a manner not too different to the Pavlovian dogs. The twist here is that instead of wearing a white coat here at lunchtime, you wear this accessory on your wrist that you snap every time you feel stress encroaching in your mind. Of course this is uncomfortable, maybe even a tad painful and so when you have done it enough time, your brain begins associating stressful thoughts with that stringing from the rubber band. The brain does not like pain and therefore every time a stressful thought approaches, you subconsciously thwart them so that you avoid the pain. Incredible as this sounds, Dr. B. F. Skinner proved it in controlled experiments.

Wash dishes

Washing your dishes has therapeutic effects that save you money, effort, and stress of having to take any pills to relieve your stress if you are one of those people who dislike taking medicine. Not all dish-washing is the same either. The research that discovered the importance of dish-washing in fighting found out that it best helps those people who wash their dishes thoughtfully. That is, the people who take their time and immerse themselves completely into the activity of dish-washing. They pay keen attention to minor details in the process such as how warm the water is, how the soap smells, or how the dishes feel.  Remind you of anyone? The fact that many people find such chores so tasking means that they will probably never know all these benefits. The research that came up with these findings was conducted by a research team at the Florida State University using a group of fifty-one students that were divided into two. Those who mindfully cleaned their dishes were found to be twenty-seven percent less nervous and more mentally inspired at the end of the activity while the control group showed no difference. These benefits, however, are not exclusive to dish-washing. They accrue from all mundane, repetitive activities in which one exerts their brain, but not too hard.

Get a pet

The debate around keeping pets seems to come up a lot when discussing psychological issues. Many pet owners will glorify keeping pets while critics are only cynical about it. However, studies have concluded that pet owners exhibit significantly lower levels of stress than people who do not own any pets. The particular study that made this conclusion as conducted using dog owners.  The theory behind this phenomenon lurks back to receiving affection unconditionally. When one is stressed and sulking, it is easy to find their dog snuggling up to them and licking them in a show of affection, which affects the mind positively and reduces stress levels. Or maybe it is just their infectious playful nature that has the owners engrossed in their games. The bottom-line is that a furry friend is good for your stressful days.

This blog post has been reproduced with the permission of Expanded Consciousness. The original blog post can be found here. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily endorsed by this organization and are simply provided as food for thought from Intellectual Takeout.

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