Whether you’re a bride, groom, best man, future father-in-law, flower girl, or anyone else for that matter, a wedding day can be incredibly stressful.
Wedding day stress can be a real issue, as if not dealt with correctly, it can seriously jeopardise your overall enjoyment of the big day. But relax, here are 18 scientifically proven methods that will help you manage those wedding day stress levels…
Laugh. Then laugh some more
Okay, it can’t fix all your wedding day problems, but according to medical research, laughter has the ability to stimulate your organs, which will in turn make your brain release those all-important endorphins: the chemical that makes you feel happy. So, a few giggles will certainly lighten your load.
Have a cuppa
According to a study at UCL, drinking black tea leads to lower post-stress cortisol (a steroid hormone released by the adrenal gland) chemical levels and as a result, greater feelings of relaxation. Bliss!
For pre-wedding day stress relief, an hour in a flotation tank is said to be pure bliss. Due to quiet segregation, the tank enables you to shut down the mind, allowing a feeling of calm to wash over your body. The water on which you float is filled with Epsom salts, which are scientifically proven for their restorative benefits due to a high concentration of magnesium and minerals.
Drink a glass of milk
One of the most stress producing pre-wedding day elements is a lack of sleep. In order to counteract the problem and wake up feeling refreshed (and relaxed), drink a pint of milk before bedtime. A dose of dairy is proven to help you sleep sound due calcium and tryptophan working together induce sleeper quicker than usual.
Take a brisk walk
According to recent scientific studies, a good brisk walk helps to spark nerve cells in the brain and relax the senses, which in turns relaxes the muscles and helps the mind to function more freely. So, whether you live in a rural village or a bustling metropolis, get on those walking shoes and take a stroll – it’s guaranteed to reduce your stress levels.
Buy a house plant
As well as being pretty to look at and helping to purify the air around them, house plants possess other magic stress busting properties. According to a Washington State University study, just being around house plants can reduce human beings’ stress levels and actually lower blood pressure. If you’re feeling uptight about the wedding day, maybe it’s time to take a trip to the garden centre.
Put away the mobile phone (just for one day)
Of course, due to the very nature of a wedding, you’re going to need to be on call pretty much all the time to iron out all those last minute details, but if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, delegate those crippling responsibilities to someone else for the day and turn off that mobile phone. Due to a constant level of distraction and overstimulation of the brain, mobile phones can be a real source of stress and much like other stimulants – may even raise the blood pressure.
Chew a little gum
It’s cheap and it’s easy to source, so before or even during your wedding day, it’s certainly worth picking up a pack of chewing gum. According to a 2008 study, the act of chewing gum can actually help to relieve anxiety and reduce stress, which is also said to help you stay focused when multitasking (a wedding essential, really).
Get a massage
This may seem like one of the most obvious (and the most indulgent) way to de-stress, which is why it’s certainly worth mentioning. According to studies, the manipulation of the body’s muscles and soft tissues not only relieves pain but soothes away stress – an idyllic pre-wedding treat which is sure to leave you feeling brand new.
Put on a few tunes
Studies suggest there are many scientific reasons why listening to soothing music helps to calm you down; these include reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety levels. So pick your favourite slow tracks or ballads, kick back and prepare to unwind.
Manage your time
Now, stress can be caused by a number of factors – and getting overwhelmed is one of them. According to Professor Cooper “That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of well being.” There’s so much to do in the lead up to a wedding that it can be incredibly stressful, but by carefully managing your tasks, you will instantly feel more relaxed. There are a number of apps such as Evernote that can help you get organised.
Take a deep breath
Everyone will have heard this at least once or twice in their lives, in fact, it’s almost become a catchphrase. There’s a reason for this: breathing deeply – or trying a breathing exercise – almost instantly reduces stress levels as it simulates the breathing patterns of someone who’s already relaxed, which will help you to calm down. So when things are getting a little too much, go somewhere quiet and take a deep breath.
A Carnegie Mellon University study suggests that hugging provides the feeling of solid social support and in turn, can significantly reduce stress levels. It’s always nice to get a hug and if makes you feel better, then why not go and get one?
According to a study of around 367 college students conducted by biologist Christoph Randler, early risers perform better than those who start later in the day. Getting up earlier than everyone else is proven to increase your productivity, plus, it’s a peaceful way to start the day. By mid-morning, you will have all of your pre-wedding prep done; you’ll be feeling great and you’ll be able to treat yourself to a relaxing massage – guilt free!
Step away from the email
The University of British Columbia conducted a study which concluded that easing up on checking your emails can seriously reduce stress. “Our findings showed that people felt less stressed when they checked their email less often,” says Kostadin Kushlev, the study’s lead author and a PhD candidate at UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. Again, when organising a wedding, this may be tough, but logging in less often will definitely help you to de-stress.
Eat fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are very good for one’s health and well-being. A number of studies have shown that internal inflammation and stress are strongly linked and foods such as fish, certain types of nuts and flaxseeds (among others) can actually reduce inflammation. Researcher John Hibbeln (National Institutes of Health) told NPR: “I think there’s a very strong connection between what you eat and your mood.” Eat a little fatty acid and feel that stress melt away.
Crank up the smells
Aromatherapy is scientifically proven to relieve stress. Certain scents, like lavender for example, are said to contain notes that help relax the body and mind, due to its medicinal properties. Many studies suggest that lavender can actually help with stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation due to the fact it can help you stay in a state of deep sleep for longer than usual. So if you’re feeling really rundown or uptight, get comfy on the couch and let loose the lavender oil.
Phone a friend
Not only will this prevent you from turning to bad stress-related habits, having someone to vent to is very good for your general wellbeing. ”Researchers have found that having even one close friend that you confide in can extend your life by as much as 10 years,” says relationship coach Jan Yager, PhD (as told to Cleveland Wellness Clinic), “Numerous studies also show that recovery from a major health challenge, such as a heart attack or cancer, is enhanced because of friendship.”