Your weekly dose of stress relief: Volume 12

By Doug Mattushek - 28 August 2019Views : 1755


In partnership with Health Grinder, SA Breaking News will be publishing weekly tips and tricks to help reduce your stress levels...

37. Kiss Someone

Whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious, how about giving that special someone a kiss.

Research shows that puckering up for a good long kiss changes our hormone levels. This helps lower stress.

The study, performed by neuroscientists at Lafayette College, observed that college students who spent 15 minutes kissing while listening to music exhibited changes in chemistry that helped lower their stress response levels.

The changes were different for each gender though:

For men, the change was seen in higher levels of oxytocin, which causes that bonding feeling when we’re with our loved ones, especially after sex. For women however, oxytocin actually decreased.

Both genders did see reductions in cortisol levels, which is a stress marker.

While this study only measured oxytocin and cortisol levels, previous studies have noted that other neurotransmitters including the “happy hormone” serotonin, which helps lift our mood, and dopamine, which is responsible for desire and enthusiasm, increase when couples kiss.

All together, this makes kissing one of the most pleasurable ways of stress relief.

38. Call Mom

She’s the first person all of us learned to rely on, and she’s also the person who can calm your fears.

When you’ve got nowhere else to turn, try giving mom a call.

We’ve seen that human contact, from a hug, helps alleviate feelings of stress. With mom, a phone call does just as well.

The Child Emotion Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison notes that in 61 young girls who performed before an audience, kids who spoke by phone afterwards with their mothers, or got a hug from them, experienced increases oxytocin and decreases in their levels of cortisol.

Meanwhile, a third group, which had no verbal or tactile contact with their mothers, exhibited lower levels of oxytocin.

39. Gossip

While gossiping about others is often frowned upon, it apparently has its benefits as a form of stress relief.

Maybe this is one reason why many people resort to gossiping?

Research by the University of California at Berkeley suggests that engaging in gossip not only lowers your stress levels, but also helps police bad behavior by others. In certain instances, it is effective in stopping exploitation as well.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, consisted of 4 experiments. All of which showed that participants who observed antisocial behavior, in this case cheating, used gossip for a good purpose.

Those who witnessed the act felt better after gossiping about the person in question. This helped them release their stress and frustrations. It likewise let others know about the offending party.

The participants also went further by using gossip to prevent further exploitation by the “cheater”.