If you’ve recently fantasized about slapping a too-slow cashier or stabbing a rude party guest, you’d better read these nerve-soothing tips, pronto.
BY ZOE RUDERMAN
A just-released survey of over 6,500 women found that 53 percent of American females report being stressed “most of the time”. And there’s more: experts say that turning into a major bitch is a side effect of stress in women.
"Stressful situations increase cortisol levels and cause a dip in feel-good hormones," explains Claire Wheeler, MD, PhD, author of 10 Simple Solutions to Stress. “And since women are conditioned not to express their anger in an aggressive and direct way, they deal with those hormonal changes in what seems like a more subtle manner: by getting in a bad mood.” Meaning, we get bitchy. In the interest of not totally losing your shit this summer, we suggest you read our nine strategies for keeping cool.
1. Schedule tasks that are making you anxious — like finishing a tough work assignment — for early in the day. If you leave them for later, you’ll spend more time worrying and end up snapping at people.
2. Take a coffee break with friends or coworkers rather than going solo. A study found that getting a caffeine fix in a group lowered stress levels. But sipping coffee alone left people feeling more stressed.
3. Bookmark these sites: CollegeHumor.com and FunnyorDie.com. According to one study, anticipating watching a funny video can reduce stress hormones by up to 70 percent.
4. Practice saying the word no. Women, being social creatures, tend to feel obligated to show up for everything they’re invited to. But saying yes to something when you don’t really want to go leaves you bitter and annoyed. Tell people you’re prepping for a presentation, then enjoy the free time.
5. Make a budget for summer travel plans, going out, and shopping. It’s a drag to do and you may not stick to it, but feeling in control of your finances helps squash anxiety.
6. Lock lips with your guy. Psychologists found that even just a little bit of physical contact is enough to lower your blood pressure and make you feel calmer.
7. Do short, high-intensity workouts. Research found they have a greater effect on stress than slower-paced exercise does. So instead of an hour of yoga, hit the treadmill on high for 20 minutes.
8. Or if you’re feeling too beat to work out, skip the treadmill and relax in the sauna at your gym (or take a steamy shower). A study found that pampering yourself — even for a few minutes — calms you down.
9. If you feel ready to snap — at the rude cashier or airline clerk — talk slower. When you’re tense, you speak more rapidly, which changes your body’s chemistry and turns you into an F-bomb-dropping machine. Talking at a calmer pace will chill you out, and you’ll be more likely to get what you want.
WE HAVE ADDED ONE MORE:
10. Take one EXO at day — Antioxidants are essential to living well. They’re also essential to preventing cellular damage, thanks to their ability to neutralize free radicals. What does this mean for you? It means that EXO may help your body deal with the added stress of a hectic lifestyle and an environment full of pollutants. In fact, getting rid of free radicals can actually slow down the symptoms of the aging process.
Sources: Journal of Behavioral Medicine; Oklahoma State University; Research Quarterly For Exercise and Sport; Edwin Riley, Phd, Author of Stress Rx; University of Bristol; University of California at Irvine; Claire Wheeler, Phd, Md.