Ask Dr. Angela: What are your favorite ways to reduce stress?

  • September 2, 2014

Stress is a really big problem among women, and it really does affect your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Here’s five of my favorite ways – and they are all backed by scientific evidence that they work.

  1. Meditate. A few minutes a day can help ease anxiety and make your more resilient in stressful situations. Just close your eyes, find a positive phrase to say out loud or silently and let distracting thoughts float by. That’s how easy it is.
  2. Take a deep breath. It lowers cortisol levels and can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. That will make you feel less stressed.
  3. Listen to music. Music triggers biochemical stress reducers — especially classical, jazz and new age. Don’t go for fast-paced music because it actually increases the heart rate and blood pressure.
  4. Laugh. Laughter is not only good for you mentally and emotionally, but it also actually induces physical changes in your body. It makes you take in more air, relaxes your muscles, and stimulates your heart and lungs.
  5. Join a religious community. There’s been a lot of research in this area. One study showed that religious people are less likely to experience stress-related mental illness. Another showed that college students who practice religion are less stressed.

There are so many other scientifically-proven ways to reduce stress – getting a massage, chewing gum, having sex, hanging out with your dog, walking, exercising, keeping a journal, hugging and kissing – the list is really quite long.

The trick is to get attuned to your body enough to recognize stress and do something to control.

Just don’t get stressed out about it!