Self / 09.10.2015

Discover 3 new ways to stop stressing

By Roisin Dervish-O'Kane
Feeling the pressure? Time to mix up your get-calm strategies


Stress isn’t all bad. In fact, when it’s impacting us in the right amounts in can help us power through at work, amp up our workouts, and more. But too much stress, too much of the time can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds.

If the stress hormone cortisol hangs around for too long in your body, it reduces the levels of ‘happy hormones’ serotonin and dopamine. One US study even found that chronic stress could kill existing cells, and prevent the growth of new ones in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that dictates whether your response to stress is healthy, or not. If you’ve a history of depression, a frazzled brain can also up your chances of relapsing.

The best way to keep a handle on your stress levels is to learn how to really relax. If reading a book or having a hot bath just aren’t cutting it, give our latest ways to stop stressing a go.

1 Download a lava lamp



 Gif: USTWO/Wired

Who doesn’t recall minutes spent watching vibrant globules of paraffin shimmy seductively in their glowy bubble?  New app Pause aims to recreate this state of transfixed, sleepy focus on our smartphones. When you move your fingertips across the screen (and a big wobbly bubble follows you), your body’s ‘rest and digest’ response is triggered – helping you to zone in and shed stress in minutes. Ideal for anyone who needs more than ‘a few deep breaths’ to get centred.

Click here to download Pause for iOS

2 Create a wind-down routine

Sleep is the ultimate form of relaxation. If you’re struggling to wind down, follow this strategy from healthy‘s therapist Lucy Beresford and incorporate mindfulness into your bedtime beauty routine.


3 Learn to meditate

Really – it’s endorsed by hard neuroscience. And OprahOne Harvard University MRI study even proved that a regular meditation practice can help rebuild the brain’s grey matter in eight weeks. As well as helping soothe anxious minds and bodies – it was even found to thicken the brain’s cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. So if the Eastern-isms or celeb stamp of approval don’t pique your interest, think of it as building a better brain.

Start off with these podcasts by meditation expert Will Williams. Covering off visualisations, deep breathing, and the basics of mindfulness, they’re designed especially to help us make the most of a trip away. On which half of us check our social feeds 15 times a day, when we’re meant to be enjoying downtime, according to new figures from American Express.

No holidays for the forseeable? Remember the principles of slowing down, getting centred, and taking in the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of what’s around us are vital for enriching our everyday, too.

To download the bespoke meditation program and to find out more about the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card visit:

Discover 3 new ways to stop stressing
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Discover 3 new ways to stop stressing
The best way to keep a handle on your stress levels is to learn how to really relax. Try these three new ways to stop stressing
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