This time of the school year sometimes causes job-related stress due to so much left to do and so little time in which to get it all accomplished. Stress is unavoidable — it is when it gets out of hand that problems can arise. One cause of stress is fatigue or overwork. Perhaps you can relate? There are simple ways to use your senses that can reduce your stress.
Wearing soft fabrics like silk or cashmere can actually lower blood pressure. Wearing comfy clothes, getting a massage, petting an animal, hugging a loved one or taking a warm bath or shower also releases stress.
Stopping to smell the roses, literally, can be good for you. Scents like lavender, jasmine, sandalwood, green apple, orange and vanilla can actually have a calming effect, as can the aroma of baked goods, the fragrance of fresh flowers, or any scent associated with pleasant memories.
Comfort food, in moderation, can be good for you and soothes frayed nerves. Wine and dark chocolate have antioxidants. Chocolate and other sweets have three pleasurable sensations — taste, smell and texture. Favorite childhood foods, creamy treats like pudding and ice cream, and high-fat foods that have phenylethylamine (PEA) are natural mood elevators.
What you see can trigger tension. If your teenager is driving you crazy, pull out a baby picture. Pictures involving peaceful vistas in the great outdoors, billowing clouds, lush trees and shimmering lakes can reduce your stress. Seeing cool colors like blue, green or violet in pale hues, as well as earth tones like sand, beige and brown can be an antidote, too.
Noise pollution can make you crazy — a voice can stimulate feelings of calm or crisis. Calming sounds include slow instrumental music, music with pleasant associations (lullabies or hymns), calming nature sounds, white noise and silence.
It's one of the healthiest antidotes. Listen to a joke, watch a funny movie, read a humorous novel or look at funny clips on YouTube. And remember, the next eight weeks will end sooner than you think!