Commit to improving your overall mental and physical health by taking just 5 minutes a day to reduce the stress in your life. Here's Dr. Oz's 5-step plan that takes less than 5 minutes and costs next to nothing.
Step 1: Viva Vitamin C
Vitamin C allows the body to quickly clear out cortisol, a primary stress hormone that increases sugars in the bloodstream. Although helpful in a fight or flight scenario, regularly elevated levels of cortisol in your body suppress normal functioning of the digestive system, reproductive system and growth processes. Vitamin C helps to regulate cortisol and prevent blood pressure from spiking in response to stressful situations.
Grab an orange, a kiwi or try a supplement of 3,000mg for maximum benefit.
Step 2: Have a Cup of Black Tea
It seems that slowing down your day an enjoying a cup of tea would be a calming practice in itself. And when you order black tea, you'll get the calming benefits of flavonoids, which help block fight or flight divisions in the nervous system. Black tea does contain caffeine though, so limit yourself to one cup.
Step 3: Snack on Pistachios
Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat, and highest fiber nuts. They are also full of nutrients that can help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and help stop cell damage. During times of stress, this nutritious nut helps lower your blood pressure and heart rate. One serving is roughly 50 kernels - so crack into a few!
Step 4: Massage Your Ears
Borrowing from the ancient secrets of acupuncture, acupressure allows you to give yourself an ear massage pressure points on the lobes and outer rims of the ear, both of which help to relax all the muscles of the face and body.
Start by applying light pressure to your earlobes using your thumb and index finger. Then, rub the earlobes and move up the outer rim of the ear to the top of your ear. Apply pressure very gently and then work your way back down. You can do this for about 1-2 minutes.
Step 5: The Forehead Massage
The acupressure point you want to massage here is located between the eyebrows. It's connected to the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland responsible for the production of melatonin. Begin by placing gentle pressure right between the eyebrows, then move toward the middle of the brow. You can move back and forth or pull your fingers along your eyebrow.
All of these steps can be done in less than five minutes - but remember that the massages are free and there's no harm in performing them more than once a day.
These quick steps are vital to your health; reduced stress is directly correlated with reduced risk for heart disease.
Click here for Dr. Oz's 2-week Ultimate Stress Reduction Plan.
And remember, if you're experiencing symptoms such as teeth grinding or Tinnitus, you may need to seek medical help. These physical manifestations of stress can cause chronic headaches or even depression.