Feel Great

Think you know how to deal with stress? Think again!

by Tory Wolk, blogger

We’ve all heard the ways we’re supposed to deal with our stress- relaxing, eating healthier, talking things out or staying calm. It turns out that most of these things will actually make our stress worse, according to some recent studies.

We’re told to do yoga or meditate to soothe our nerves. Meditation helps some people to relax, but a lot of people have trouble focusing on meditation and become frustrated with the entire process. Instead, do something that clears your head, like running or praying. Try something repetitive, so you have to focus on what you’re doing rather than all of the things you have to do later.

Some believe that eating fatty foods can create more anxiety, but new findings show that chocolate can calm your nerves. There’s something in dark chocolate that’s soothing, but it’s not present in milk chocolate. Think of it as a guilt-free treat to yourself when you’re stressed out.

Lots of therapists insist that sharing all your feeling helps you feel better, and encourage you to talk to your family and friends about what’s bothering you. For some people, though, talking about what’s bothering them is actually more harmful than helpful. If you’re constantly talking about your problems and continue to think about them, you will actually become more unhappy and depressed. It’s better to get over the stress by turning your attention to something more positive. Take a few minutes to yell or cry, but then move on.

If you’re stressed, consider changing your company. It’s not just the people around you that can make you feel better—a study proved that around pets, people perform better and are more calm.

And strangely enough, temper tantrums or little bursts of anger can actually be better in the long run. When something small happens, like you get cut off in traffic, it is better to express your anger and get it over with. Anger makes us feel more in control of what’s going on in our lives. Another study shows that when we express anger, we release less of the hormone that makes us stressed than when we try to control our temper.

You might need to try something new the next time you’re feeling stressed. These new tips might be more helpful and effective than anything that’s been suggested in the past.