Feeling Stressed? Use The World Around You To Find Inner Peace!

Feeling Stressed? Use The World Around You To Find Inner Peace!

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Screeching sirens. Glaring lights. Foul odors. Is your life a cry from a Zen–like serenity? You’re not alone. We live in a noisy bright and at times, very smelly world. And little jolts to the primary senses -sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing -can add up to BIG-time tension.

We tend to pick up stress all day long through our five senses. Subtle assaults on the senses can cause our stress level to continually mount.

Fortunately, finding relief can be as simple as replacing nerve-jangling stimuli with soothing views, tones, aromas and flavors. Here’s what experts recommend avoiding and adding for tranquility.


The eyes are windows to our world, so it’s only natural that what we see can trigger tension. And not just obvious sights: deep, intense colors, bright lights and disturbing images – whether a violent television show or an upsetting picture can stress your body.

The antidote is to surround your self with cool colors, in particular, sky blue, which has been shown to trigger the release of tranquilizing hormones, soft lighting and nature scenes. Watching clouds blow gently across the sky or looking at a big, leafy tree can have a wonderfully calming effect. Closing your eyes and visualizing it will work too.

Stressors to try and avoid:

  • Harsh lighting
  • Bright, warm colors in heavy saturation (tomato-red, brilliant yellow, fluorescent orange)
  • Rooms with many colors or patterns
  • Nature pictures with dark clouds, lightning, shadows, snakes or spiders
  • Images that bring on feelings of fear or anxietySoothers:
  • Cool colors like blue, green or violet in pale hues
  • Earth tones like sand, beige, brown
  • Dim lights or candles
  • Peaceful vistas in the great outdoors (billowing clouds, lush trees, shimmering lakes)
  • Pictures involving greenery and water
  • Aquariums and fountains


    Perhaps nothing makes us feel crazed as quickly as noise pollution. Whether from construction sites, trash collection, car alarms or ringing cell phones, the clamor of everyday life can set our teeth on edge – making minor troubles seem like major catastrophes. The body can suffer too. Auditory overload causes the body to react with muscular tension, which can turn in muscle spasms and a headache.

    Escaping to a quite place is one way to find sound sanity. Another is by listening to music, which can lower pulse, blood pressure and muscle tension. Researchers attribute the power of music to it rhythmic component, which helps promote steady breathing and thus relation.

    Stressors to try and avoid:

  • Loud, shrill noise (sirens, car alarms)
  • Ongoing clamor (blaring televisions, loud restaurants)
  • Dramatic water sounds (crashing waterfalls, pounding surf)
  • Threatening animal sounds (barking dogs, growling tigers, buzzing bees)
  • Music you don’t likeSoothers:
  • Slow, instrumental music
  • Music with pleasant associations (your favorite song, first dance at your wedding)
  • Calming nature sounds (babbling brooks, chirping birds, light rain fall)
  • Total silence


    Our favorite meals and snacks are called comfort foods for a reason. Part of the calming effect is psychological: certain foods can bring forth memories of a favorite place or person from our past. While smell and flavor play a role, tactile sensations in the mouth also contribute to how a specific food makes us feel. Because the tongue has touch receptors, as well as taste buds, the texture of food can contribute to our mood. Not surprisingly, soft treats are more soothing to the tongue than crunchy morsels.

    Of the four major flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter) most people prefer sweets when tension peaks, particularly chocolate. Chocolate’s, soothing effect is probably due to the combination of two highly pleasurable sensations; the silky feel of fat and the lusciously sweet taste. Plus, scientists have discovered that chocolate contains Phenyl ethylamine (PEA), a natural mood elevator. PEA acts on the pleasure centre of the brain, reducing pain and anxiety. Conversely a sour candy or spicy foods can aggravate anxiety.

    Stressors to try and avoid:

  • Hot, spicy foods
  • Pungent flavors
  • Burned coffee
  • Sour or bitter tasting foods
  • Foods with unpleasant associations (veggies you were forced to eat as a child, food that made you sick)Soothers:
  • Favorite childhood foods
  • Creamy treats (like pudding, mousse and ice cream)
  • Foods with high fat content
  • Sweets, especially chocolate


    It’s all too easy to take our sense of touch for granted however, the skin is the body’s largest organ with sensors on every square inch. While some kinds of touch; being jostled on a crowded bus or the feel of a scratchy sweater can make us anxiety or irritable, getting rubbed the right way can melt away tension. Studies show that massage slows the heart rate, reduces blood pressure and decreases stress hormones. The good news: it doesn’t have to be a professional massage. Any kind of touch involving pressure will cause stress levels to drop.

    Moreover, if the person laying on hands is a loved one, so much the better. Sometimes there’s nothing like a squeeze, hug or cuddle from a family member or close friend to restore a feeling of tranquility. Physical connections to special people in your life provide a sort of shield against everyday tensions. Affectionate touch can convey love, empathy or trust. And that’s a powerful stress reducer.

    Stressors to try and avoid:

  • Rough, scratchy fabric
  • Tight or uncomfortable clothing
  • Uninvited touch (rubbing shoulders in a crowded room, being shoved around in a busy subway or line)
  • Exposure to cold water or air (cold creates tension)Soothers:
  • Soft fabric (silk, cashmere)
  • Loose or very comfy clothes
  • Massages
  • Warm baths or showers (warmth is associated with comfort
  • Petting an animal


    The next time you’re feeling over whelmed, stop to smell the roses -literally. Long dismissed as the basest of all senses, smell may actually be the most powerful. That’s because our sniffing sense is directly linked to the limbic system, the part of the brain where emotion and memory are centered. Smell is our most emotional sense and the one with the longest memory. Just one whiff of a scent from the past can bring forth a flood of feelings and vivid memories. In fact, humans are able to distinguish over 10, 000 different odors.

    But that’s not always a good thing… Unpleasant smells tend to increase agitation and anxiety. On the other hand, certain scents can be calming. Lavender especially has been shown to be a relaxing scent. But if you don’t like a particular aroma, it won’t make you feel relaxed. Personal preference, as well as odors you were exposed to as a child, play a big part in a scent’s therapeutic effect.

    Stressors to try and avoid:

  • Disturbing odors like garbage, manure and vomit
  • Body odor
  • Overly strong fragrances
  • Spoiled food
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Musty smells
  • Ammonia (studies show that smelling ammonia elevates blood pressure)Soothers:
  • Scents like lavender, jasmine, sandalwood, rose, vanilla, green apple
  • The aroma of baked goods
  • The scent of fresh flowers
  • Any fragrance that’s associated with pleasant memories

    An overload of unpleasant sensations can take a toll on the body and psyche. How do you know if you are becoming over-whelmed? Watch for these warning signs:

  • Muscle tension and or headache
  • Inability to concentrate and or focus
  • Feeling angry or irritable for no apparent reason
  • Extreme anxiety or a panic attack
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • Watery eyes or needing to squint
  • A decreased taste sensation

    Whether it’s one pet peeve or a variety of annoyances that sets you on edge, identifying and then avoiding them will definitely help your stress levels. Additionally, identifying your senses — soothers and using them whenever possible will not only help to reduce your stress levels but can help to soothe your body, mind and spirit… anytime!

  • write by wilson

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