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

Comments

More

Everything you need to know about growing your own vegetables

(Even if you don't have loads of space)

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Calling all vino fans: are you ready for red wine ice cream?

Ice cream and red wine, together at last…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Letters penned 100 years apart show unchanging attitude to abortion

"I'm in the family way again, and I'm nearly crazy..."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Woman opens up about having her grandmother as her bridesmaid

“She’s my best friend”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Artist captures how mental illness feels with sketches of houses

“It belongs to our lives and we must not stigmatise it”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Pair cheese and wine like a pro with this incredible interactive map

Winchester Aged Gouda with a glass of Amarone della Valpolicella, anyone?

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Elderly woman finds £5 note worth £50k, donates it to “young people”

She’s the hero we need right now, if not the one we deserve.

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Watch Emma Watson sing ‘Belle’ in new Beauty and the Beast clip

“There goes the baker with his tray, like always…”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

The worst date I’ve ever witnessed: waiters share their stories

From the toe-curlingly awkward to the jaw-on-floor shocking.

by Moya Crockett
20 Feb 2017

Men open up about “the one that got away” in thought-provoking video

But not all is as it seems…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Feb 2017