Stress is everywhere. Ask anyone and, without skipping a beat, they’ll run down a list of ten reasons they’re stressed today; but, it doesn’t have to control your life. Take two minutes to destress and have a positive impact on your whole body.
Stress is not only mentally taxing, but also encourages the release of the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. While cortisol is naturally occurring and necessary in moderate amounts, in high amounts it can cause increased weight gain, and weaken both the cardiovascular and immune systems.
The simple act of warming your hands can reduce stress levels. Neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, PhD. explains that evolutionarily, when our body would illicit the fight-or-flight response, blood would be directed to the largest muscles of the body to protect against physical danger. This causes blood to be rerouted from the hands to the more “necessary” muscles. It is also inferred that this is the reason people wring their hands when they’re nervous; warmer hands will essentially signal to the autonomic nervous system it’s safe to calm down.