This is by no means a comprehensive list of ways to manage stress. It is our hope that some day it is complete. Please let us know of any you may be aware of by submitting them through the suggestions page.
This is another name for how to care for your anxiety. It is also a great topic to have among the presentations and speeches you give and as a handout resources.
Now the list.
It is a psychoactive, flavonoid rich food with over 300 chemical compounds. Some produce natural stress reducing properties. Additionally it has numerous health benefits for public speakers.
Heart wise, the theory is polyphenols reduce the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins resulting in protection from heart disease.
It contains small amounts of an endogenous cannabinoid. It also contains caffeine in modest quantities. Probably not enough to act as a stress reducer however.
Recent studies indicate theobromine may result in a superior cough medicine because of the action it produces to the vagus nerve where a chronic cough can originate.
It also affects the release of endorphins resulting in reduced sensitivity to pain.
Phenylethylamine, a chemical that releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain effects feelings of excitement, euphoria among others.
Tryptophan, an amino acid affects the mood neurotransmitter serotonin which is connected to diminished anxiety. Uptake is improved by a low protein, high carb intake.
It is even felt that those people who are taking MAO-b inhibitors potentate chocolate's effects.
Even satisfying monthly cravings can have positive affects on stress. The pre-menstrual craving women have may result form exacerbation of magnesium deficiency. And wouldn't you know, Chocolate is a source. The logic is simple, the closer we can come to maintaining our body balance, the easier the ability to deal with stress. Thus chocolate is a great stress reducer before public speaking and otherwise.
The best: semi-sweet dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content.
Word of caution… if you have PMS, migraine headaches, or acne, chocolate may aggravate the effects.
How much? As an anti-anxiety food, it is rather fascinating. If you view it as the equivalent of a legal, over the counter drug, take (or 'do' depending on how you look at it) no more than one ounce a day. It is recommended you test it to see if it works for you in bringing about stress reduction.
How fast does it work? That will depend on body weight, metabolism and how empty or full your stomach is. Quickest could be 20 minutes and perhaps as long as 4 hours. If your going to use chocolate, time the use to be most effective.
Green Beans Don't like or cannot have chocolate? Then another way to get tryptophan is in a can of green beans. Warm, eat and enjoy. This will also help you go to sleep when stress is making sleep difficult.
B vitamin Family
B vitamins work synergistically. It is best to take a B-complex and get all unless contraindicated by a doctor or your known condition. All have secondary health benefits.
B-3 Niacin: Energy booster, keeps the nervous system in tip top shape, and some doctors recommend it over prescription cholesterol drugs because of fewer side effects. It is also cheaper. Although not as dangerous as some if you overdose, only increase the RDA under a doctor’s supervision. Exceeding could cause gastrointestinal distress.
B-12 is also a nerve healthy vitamin and involved in building blood as are a few others. Remember the EPO scandals among some athletes years ago. Well, the better you make your own blood the more energy you have for public speaking. Back to body balance basics.
To naturally build blood requires additional Iron, vitamin C and B-9 (we’re back to the B-complex) among other B vitamins and protein. The most absorbable form of iron might just be found in Black Strap Molasses which eliminates the side effects of iron supplements.
Under normal conditions, it takes 2 weeks for the body to make red blood cells. However, there are numerous studies that have demonstrated when people are anemic and given the building blocks of blood, remarkable results have been produced.
In the hospitals that no longer give blood transfusions or are conservative in administering them, patients with blood counts as low as 2.8 have been given peanut butter and Black Strap Molasses with counts increasing the equivalent of 1/3 to 1 unit of blood in 48 hours. Although the mechanism is not known, what is known, it works.
So this becomes a viable natural means to give a boost to deal with the energy requirements of public speaking and maintain your body in balance. That will result in extra energy which can aid as a stress reducer.
Yes, a study found this is an effective stress reducer and the study was specifically for public speaking. The study indicated it not only was a stress reliever, the effects lasted through the giving of the speech. However the researchers noted the best stress reducer is still preparation.
Z Tracking Eye Movement / EMI
What is EMI? Basically, EMI is the least invasive stress reducer available.
Many health related sciences studied eye movement. Only one group came out the winner in the stress reducer category. Neurological testing has been preformed by doctors, nurses, kinesiologist’s, psychiatrists, and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioners.
Studies of the movement of the eyes and the part of the brain they accessed yielded two separate fields of study related to mental functioning. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Eye Movement Integration (EMI).
All eyes are on the NLP science of EMI. It is one of the most effective methods of stress reduction and performance improvement prior to giving a speech or even taking a test.
Simply face your head straight in front of you. With out moving your head, look at and follow the lines of an imaginary Z that starts at the top left corner. Follow the lines to the top right corner, down to the bottom left corner and across to the bottom right. Then make an outline of all four corners. Do this to all four quadrants of your visual field. Follow those lines. Do the movement slowly and consistently. Repeat Eight times.
You could think of it as a Z, an X or what ever you want. For simplicity, I call it Z-tracking eye movement.
This simple procedure works for many as a stress reducer and facilitate mental awareness. I often use daily and even numerous times a day.
Personal note: This was part of my neurological assessment with those I managed as patients in the hospital and now as clients as Nurse Jon.. Some commented they noticed a sensation the first time doing it.
That sensation was, in simplest terms, the turning on of the lights in the mind.
Our thoughts are 4 volts of electricity going back and forth within our gray and white matter. Anxiety is the result of a loop that causes the same thought to re-play over and over like a broken record or a CD with a flaw that will not allow the reader to progress.
What if you could stop the skip or allow the CD reader to progress automatically. What if you could access the thought process through a different path way to accomplish this.
Other studies and anecdotal tests reported within this site have demonstrated that if you go through the back door of your thoughts (Asking the question how does it not work?) answers are more readily available. The question to answer for the brain in this situation, how to reduce stress.
EMI takes it a step farther. It turns on all the lights in the brain, in effect firing and connecting all the different processes and processors. It does this by using the eyes to stimulate neuro-transmissions which allows the brain do what it does best. Solve problems, like how to act as a stress reducer.
When stress becomes unbearable. When you think there is no way out. Help is available. If your reluctant to seek that help from a professional, then at least start on the web. You do not need to go through this alone.
Stop Your Sore Throat By Tonight with zinc lozenges. Yes, they work that good. I have not had a sore throat in over 19 years now.