How to Destress Through Your 5 Senses

by Grace Fernandez   |  Apr 17, 2010
photo by Dakila Angeles
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  1. Taste
    Scientists have proven that there is a link between eating certain types of food and our current state of mind. Eating foods rich in magnesium, such as bananas, walnuts, and vegetables reduce anxiety and help you sleep better. Chocolate contains serotonin that serves as the perfect remedy when you're down. Drinking two glasses of fresh orange juice has also been proven to diminish bad moods since lack of vitamin C could provoke irritability. Another interesting fact is that eating ice cream can make you happy! Researchers at London's Institute of Psychiatry claim that eating ice cream has an immediate effect on the brain's pleasure zones.

  2. Sight
    Sometimes, a change of scenery and a little imagination can do the trick. Distract yourself by taking a short walk, going window-shopping, or focusing on a beloved picture. You can also try to create a mental picture of a pleasant and relaxing place. Colors also have psychological effects. Yellow is an uplifting color that builds self-confidence and encourages optimism. Green creates feelings of relaxation and calmness, while blue inspires mental control, clarity, and creativity.

  3. Touch
    A quick massage can treat a stiff neck, sore shoulders, and headaches.
    It won't be too difficult to locate your pressure points whenever you're stressed, since they become tense and sore. Find the stiff spot, then press your finger in and up toward the opposite side. Apply pressure on the area for a minute or until you feel it start to relax.

  4. Smell
    A good scent can change your mood and help you relax.
    Smells from scented candles, massage oils, or even Mom's cooking can make you feel good. Aromatherapy is a popular way of using good smells to help you relax. Lavender, cucumber, and green apple scents do the trick. Another alternative is to take a long, deep breath, hold for a few seconds, and slowly exhale through your nose. By repeating this several times, you bring more oxygen into your bloodstream, making you feel more relaxed.

  5. Sound
    Peace and quiet help some people deal with stress while others turn to music.
    Studies have shown that melodies not only increase your energy levels but also help change your mood. Music causes your brain to release endorphines that create a relaxation response. Try popping in a Jack Johnson CD! It'll make you sit back, relax, and imagine a day on the beach! 
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Grace Fernandez
Contributing Writer
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