Today we have a few rapid-fire commands that you should obey. For your own good.
Eat chocolate! Now!! Then quit meditating, for crying out loud, and just get angry!!! And about your family …
We live in a stressful time where 24/7 news gives us 24/7 anxiety and there is nothing that we can do about 99.99999% of it. We can change our own little part of the world. Maybe. Whether that change is just within ourselves, extends to our own family or out into your community, it is still only a small part of the world.
It turns out that much of what you thought you knew about stress is wrong. And how do I know that? Because I found an article on the Internet … need I say more?
Old thinking: Never soothe yourself with food
New thinking: Treat yourself to chocolate
According to new findings published in the Journal of Proteome Research, eating a few pieces of dark chocolate when you’re feeling on edge can help calm your nerves. In the study, stressed-out participants who ate 1 ½ ounces of dark chocolate a day for 2 weeks had reduced levels of stress hormones.
Old thinking: “Om” your way to calmness
New thinking: Do something you love
[I]n a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54% of participants reported feeling anxious while meditating!
Any repetitive activity that keeps your attention in the present moment, including jogging, swimming, painting, walking, knitting, or praying, will work just as well.
Old thinking: Control your temper
New thinking: Throw a tantrum now and then
According to a study published in Biological Psychiatry that looked at the effect of facial expressions of emotions, such as fear and indignation, on our stress responses, displaying your anger may actually cause your brain to release less cortisol.
Expressing irritation in response to a short-term and unfair frustration, such as being cut off in traffic, can actually dampen the nasty effects of stress.
Old thinking: Turn to family and friends for support
New thinking: Cuddle up with your pet
“Having your pet, whether a cat or a dog, with you during a stressful event turns out to be more soothing than a best friend or a spouse,” says James J. Blascovich, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Read the rest of the article for more ways to find out just how wrong you have been about everything.
Unless that would stress you out. Then just eat some chocolate. Now.
A version of this was originally posted 03/29/2011 at BPI Campus.