Say you're really stressed out and simultaneously trying to make a big decision--maybe whether to reconcile with an old friend who hurt you terribly several years ago. Guess what? The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to smooth over the past and assume that everything's going to be OK, according to a new study.
What's so wrong with that? Well, stressed brains, say University of Southern California researchers, aren't always the most informed/rational brains, and you might be opening yourself up to poor decision-making. After all, the friend who wronged you could ... do it again!
I think this is a fascinating look at the way our brains work, and a good reminder to hold off on decision-making until you feel less stressed out.
Do you find that you make bad decisions when you're stressed?
1. Have a mandarin: Recently, when doing some reporting for a story on energy, I spoke to an aromatherpist who said that compounds in mandarin oranges (or satsumas or clementines) are known to make people feel mellow and calm. I say put the theory to the test the next time you're stressed out at work by peeling a clementine and inhaling the scent! (Here are a zillion reasons why I love clementines, satsumas + mandarins!)
2. Chew some anti-stress gum: Bach's "Rescue" "natural stress-relief gum" may sound a little hokey, but I say it's worth a try. Packed with homeopathic ingredients known for stress-relief, the gum promises to help you regain your "inner calm." Whether it really works or provides some placebo-effect action, some experts believe that gum-chewing itself can have a calming, cathartic effect.
3. Give your jaw a massage: It may sound weird, but think about it: When you're stressed out, you tend to hold tension in your jaw (most people do). By loosening up the muscles with a quick massage to the jaw and neck region, you can help your body de-stress.
- Source: Glamour Magazine