Carnegie Mellon University

Four Silly Stress-Busters To Help You Relax

June 20, 2012 at 11:49 am , by

By Jeff Nelson and Allison Berry

Tell us if you agree: Reading about how all our stress is going to kill us only causes more of it. We get it. It’s no secret that too much stress is bad for the mind and body. And with the state of the world today, it’s also no surprise that women’s overall stress has increased 18 percent over the last 25 years. (Thank you, Carnegie Mellon University, for reminding us we’re more pressured than ever.)

Of course we’d all be better off living out our days in a peaceful little beach town where deadlines don’t exist and no one ever gets sick or needs a ride to soccer practice. But we all know that’s not going to happen. So we set out to find a few fun ways to take it down it down a notch.

Slam a Dammit Doll
Warning: This is not your daughter’s toy. Think Raggedy-Ann-meets-voodoo-doll for stressed-out grownups. The Dammit Doll is about releasing your pent-up negative energy. Just follow the instructions sewn onto the toy’s chest (“grasp it firmly by the legs and find a place to slam it”), preferably find an inanimate object and see how much better you feel. We did after trying them out, above!

Pop Bubble Wrap
The Sealed Air Corporation found that just one minute of popping Bubble Wrap has the same calming benefit as a 33-minute massage. Yep, and it’s cheaper, too. (That’s us, two very “busy” interns, right, going to town on some Bubble Wrap we found around the office.) If you don’t have any around, you can order some here. Need relief now? Pop some virtual Bubble Wrap here, or download the fun Bubble Wrap app for your iPhone.

Squish Some Putty
Sure, we all know the magic of a stress ball, but those dinky unforgiving globs of foam don’t offer quite the level of angst-busting as a handful of this therapy putty. Roll it into a ball, squish it between your fingers or throw it against the wall at full force. We won’t judge you.

Give In To A Cute Kitty Or Puppy Video
Studies show stroking your favorite pet releases feel-good endorphins, but not many people can bring Fluffy to work with them. A few minutes with a cute kitten video (such as the cat mom hugging her agitated kitten) can help when you feel overwhelmed. So can this puppy cam, fixed on a precious pack of Shiba Inus.

If none of these seem to help, do what we always do when we’re feeling undone: Eat chocolate.