When something upsetting happens, the best way to handle it is to deal with the negative feelings and let them go. “Not processing emotions appropriately can lead to depression or even high blood pressure,” says Dr Mithu Storoni, author of Stress-Proof. The most effective ways to de-stress, though, aren’t always the most obvious. Try one or all of these proven methods to reset and relax.
LET IT GO
Suppressed stress has a way of resurfacing. These strategies help diffuse it and bring you back in balance.
1 DO SOMETHING ELSE
After a tense experience, cue up a smartphone game. It makes your brain less reactive to stress. This will help you detach emotionally so you can solve the problem rationally or move past it. Puzzles and memory games, such as Tetris, work best.
2 WORK OUT SLOWER
Light exercise may be better than intense exercise at reducing anxiety after a blow-up. Working out at 40 per cent capacity lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, while pushing yourself harder raises levels, research found.
3 WRITE IT OUT
Documenting the source of the stress after you regain some composure can be calming. Dr Storoni says: “It removes the emotion from the scenario, which reduces its intensity.” She says it works best to go old-school with a pen and paper.