Are you feeling stressed? Signs include craving food, irritability and even a racing heart. But reducing stress is easier than you think once you are intentional. Try these three easy tips:
1) Phone a friend. It not only works on game shows but in real life. Simply talking to a friend can release oxytocin, known as the connection hormone. A blast of the hormone is thought to help with coping by taking stress and converting it to social bonding. This can lower cortisol levels associated with stress.
2) Smell lavender. Japanese researchers (2008) found that the smell of lavender reduced stress in a study that looked at people solving difficult math problems. So purchase a vile of lavender oil or lotion and take a whiff whenever you feel overwhelmed.
3) Drink black tea. OK not my favorite but scientists at the University of London found lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people who drank black tea versus other hot beverages after a stressful event.