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Queenswood Wellbeing Week: How to De-stress

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Queenswood Wellbeing Week - How to De-stress

As part of Queenswood’s Wellbeing Week, the Academic Scholars gave a fascinating talk in Chapel on the latest scientific research into happiness and positivity on Wednesday 25 February.

Over the next few days, we will be presenting some of their findings on the Queenswood website, starting with Emma and Lucy’s tips for coping with stress.

When you sense danger your body gears you up for action as you prepare to run away or stand your ground – ‘fight or flight’.

Unfortunately with the stress of modern life this is triggered constantly. However, there are many ways to relieve this stress. Here are four things you can all do to de-stress.

Help yourself by praying for others

  • Researchers at the University of Michigan asked more than 1000 people about the nature of their prayers.
  • They discovered that those who prayed for the health and wellbeing of others had reduced stress levels, yet praying for material goods made no difference to their wellbeing.

Listen to classical music

  • In a study where the participants were stressed, researchers found that those who recovered from their stress in silence or whilst listening to jazz and pop music showed very similar results for their blood pressure returning to normal.
  •  However, those who were made to listen to classical music relaxed more and their blood pressure dropped much faster.

Spend half an hour in the sun

  • A team from the Virginia Institute for psychiatric and behavioural genetics did a study which shows that higher temperatures and barometric pressure caused people to be in a better mood and improved their memory, but only if they stayed outside for more than 30 minutes.

  • Those that spent less than 30 minutes outside were even grumpier than usual. So, if you are going outside then make sure you spend long enough out there!

Have a laugh

  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you increase your chances of a heart attack.
  • People who spontaneously use humour to cope with stress have particularly healthy immune systems, are 40% less likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke, experience less pain during dental surgery and live 4.5 years longer. The scientists’ recommendation is for you to laugh for at least 15 minutes a day.