Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

From eating avocado to hugging a loved one and looking at art, simple ways to reduce stress through the senses

478689623.jpg

Some of the simplest strategies for combating everyday stress and low-level anxiety are right within our reach.

A new infographic highlights how a sense of relaxation and calm can be achieved via the senses, whether that's the smell of lavender or the feel of the wrists being gently stretched.

With stress-related illness accounting for 40% of work absences in the UK in 2011-12 (according to government statistics), clearly we could all do with taking things down a notch and chilling out far more than we actually do. 

Avocado

Eating avocado can reduce stress

Here are five simple ways of reducing stress through sensory stimulation. Find out more in the infographic, from spabreak.co.uk, below, or check out our 10 ways to alleviate stress here.

Taste

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. They're also rich in stress-relieving B vitamins such as B6 and folate.

Smell

Research shows that the smell of coconut can slow your heart rate, working effectively as a natural mood booster. A 2007 study from Columbia University found that people smelling coconut had a lower stress response, lower blood pressure and less anxiety than those who didn't.

Touch

Scientists from the University of Vienna last year identified that hugging a loved one releases the "trust hormone" hormone oxytocin which lowers blood pressure and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

Sound

The sound of rhythmic ocean waves provides a sensation of serenity and calm - research into the area has shown that it alters wave patterns in the brain, soothing you into a deeply relaxing and restorative state.  

Sight

Art therapists believe that looking at and creating art can be used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress. In 2007, scientists at University College London's Institute of Neuroesthetics found that looking at art stimulates the brain in a way that makes people feel good, leading to a renewed sense of health and wellbeing.

The sensory relaxation infographic

Stress infographic

Photos: Getty Images

Related

615x330-abfab2.jpg

The 10 routine changes that are proven to help you de-stress

990GHS_Whoopi_Goldberg_027.jpg

Where to meet ghosts in London this Halloween

457166508.jpg

Book-loving celebrities name their favourite reads

More

The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017