Expert Tips for Reducing Your Stress

Expert Tips for Reducing Your Stress

April 16, 2020

With Dr. Blake Gurfein, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Tivic Health Systems

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Blake Gurfein, happens to have academic expertise in this area. While at the University of California San Francisco, he conducted research on the biological impacts of stress on the brain and immune system and how stress reduction techniques can be beneficial. 

Dr. Gurfein shares that there is a biological reason to reduce your stress now.  Why?  Because chronic stress and persistent stress hormone production have been linked to weakened immune function.


Here are 5 tips for reducing stress levels based on his research:  

 

  • Limit your consumption of news.  Of course, it is important to stay informed about the current health crisis, however getting incessant alerts, scrolling through your news feed, and keeping television news on all day will send anyone into a panic. Try to set a healthy boundary around when and how long you will consume news each day (e.g., 30 minutes in the morning). Read the articles, not just the headlines; headlines often contain different information. Stick to fact-checked reputable news organizations.

 

  • Keep moving. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and elevate mood. Try to do some form of physical activity every day. Go for a walk or run, take an online yoga class in your living room, or do some jumping jacks. Heed the instructions of your county if exercising outside (e.g., keep 6 feet away from others).

 

  • Stay connected. Many of us are feeling isolated because of shelter in place orders or because our normal routines have been disrupted. Take advantage of the many ways you can continue to connect with your friends, family, and colleagues. Write an email, pick up the phone, or videocall. Videocalls are particularly powerful in trying times. Try to interact with your community on daily basis to alleviate loneliness and bolster your sense of community support.

 

  • Try meditating. Meditation is powerful practice that has been shown to be very effective at reducing stress and anxiety. As little as five or ten minutes of meditation can be enough to quiet your mind and experience stillness. Guided practices are a great way to get some experience meditating. We recommend trying a free 10 minute meditation provided by Headspace.

 

  • Laugh more. Laughter can lighten any situation and has been shown to potently reduce stress. Find ways to laugh each day.  This can be through playing games with your family like charades, watching standup comedy, or putting on your favorite funny movie.

 

Feel free to send us a good joke via email or on social media to keep us laughing.

For more stress reduction approaches, visit Verywell Mind.

Note: These recommendations are for healthy individuals, if you are ill, consult with your healthcare provider.

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