#StressBusters: Discover 8 Instant Ways to De-Stress for FREE! πŸ’†β€β™€οΈπŸ’†β€β™‚οΈβœ¨

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Interesting News Article

Sniff some soil

Cheryl Rickman, positive psychology expert and author of Tree Glee: How and Why Trees Make us Feel Better (Welbeck Publishing, Β£16.99), explains how the bacteria found in soil – mycobacterium vaccae – activates the brain to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness, calm and focus.

Trees also produce a cocktail of botanical compounds – a blend of essential oils called phytoncides and aromatic terpenes – and when we breathe them in from the woody air and absorb them via our pores, our nerves send electromagnetic signals to our brain – specifically to the hypothalamus – which literally flicks the switch to shut down our β€œflight or fight” stress response. β€œThis is why my fail-safe de-stresser is to go for a woodland walk and breathe in the trees,” she says.

Eat peanut butter on toast with an apple

β€œIn this day of high protein diets and fasting, a low intake of carbohydrates can make you feel stressed and depressed,” says Amanda Bullat, registered dietitian, nutritionist and host of the Savour Food and Body podcast.

β€œIf you’re not eating enough, especially if you’re not eating enough carbohydrates, your body will not make serotonin, the feel-good hormones that improve your mood and lower anxiety,” she says. β€œIf I’m feeling stressed, I will have a piece of wholemeal toast with peanut butter and an apple and feel an instant mood-boost.”

Look for beauty

β€œI am supporting my partner right now who is in hospital for brain surgery. It is stressful but I’m choosing each day to post on social media a photo of something beautiful,” says Vanessa King, positive psychologist and author of List Happy: 75 Lists for Happiness, Gratitude and Wellbeing. (DK, Β£12.99).

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