When a light switch can really turn off your stress

You’ve probably read a lot lately about blue light from electronic posts…

About how the kind of light emitted from electronic screens can steal your sleep and have a negative impact on your eyes.

Well, this isn’t one of the posts.

This is about how your mood can be affected by something as simple as the color of a light bulb—a blue light bulb—to be exact. And why you may want to keep one handy for times of stress…

Who isn’t stressed?

Sometimes it’s an argument with your spouse. Or maybe your boss expects you to finish a project in half the time it should actually take… or your kids are fighting again and you’re stuck in the middle…

Whatever the cause, it all adds up to STRESS.

And along with it, comes that tension in your shoulders, neck and back, pressure in your chest, a pounding headache, stomach pain and grinding of your teeth so hard it feels like they might just break this time.

Even worse, chronic stress is associated with a multitude of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. And, you may not want to look to your doctor for help since those prescription anti-anxiety drugs come with numerous side effects from dizziness and fatigue to vomiting and weight gain.

But what if you could literally flip a switch — a light switch — to turn off the stress?

Blue vs. white

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) decided to see whether blue or white light was more beneficial in calming stress, especially that acute short term stress that occurs during social or interpersonal relationships – like when you’re arguing with a friend or when someone pressures you to finish a certain task as soon as possible.

The researchers recruited 12 volunteers who were first put in stressful situations and then performed a relaxation session within a multisensory stimulation room.

In the room the participants were asked to lie down with no stimulus but blue or white lighting. Diverse bio-signals, such as their heart rates and brain activity, were measured throughout the entire session.

And, the results were clear — blue lighting accelerates the relaxation process, in comparison with conventional white lighting.

Stress busters

So, when you feel stressed out, try lying down for a few minutes in a room with blue lighting to find your Zen again.

You can buy blue-colored light bulbs both online and in many home improvement stores.

Other natural ways to beat that stress include:

  • Meditate – When you feel anxious, disengage your mind by focusing on breathing deeply through your nose so your belly rises before your chest does, then exhale through your mouth. Do this for 5 minutes, concentrating only on your breath.
  • Try acupressure – Massage the fleshy part between the thumb and index finger of one hand for 30 seconds with the thumb and first two fingers of your other hand.
  • Use Positive affirmations or mantras – When the stress feels overwhelming, it’s easy to get into a negative cycle of feeling bad about yourself. To beat the stress, try giving yourself positive, self-affirming messages, like “All will be well”, or “I can do this”.
  • Cocoon –If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, try a technique called cocooning. Gently place both palms side by side on your face, fingers resting on your closed eyelids. Take a few moments or as long as you need to calm your mind and feel centered again.
  • Get moving – Dwelling on the stressor only makes it worse. Instead, get out and get moving. Take your dog for a walk, go to the gym or just dance around your living room.

Stress can feel overwhelming at times but with the tips above, you can take control and beat the stress naturally without dangerous prescription medications.

Sources:

  1. Mental Health Medications — The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  2. Blue lighting is scientifically proven to help us relax faster than white lighting after an argument — University of Granada

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Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.