The Positive Side of Medicine

De-Stressing Secrets from Around the World

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De-Stressing Secrets from Around the World

7 Relaxation and De-Stressing secrets from around the world

I’ve been traveling to many countries and have had the privilege of meeting people from all over the world, from Asia to Africa to Europe and the Americas. In my travels, I’ve seen many beautiful smiles and hugged many people who are just amazing. What I’ve learned is that life is stressful everywhere and each of us has our own way to manage that stress: some of us meditate, some pray, one might have a cold shower, and another might smoke or have a cold beer. As my favorite singer, Bob Marley, said :” Everything is Gonna be Alright…“. Here we share some other techniques from around the world:

7 De-Stressing secrets from around the world


Many of us take off our shoes before entering our homes, much the same way Japan considers it to be a de-stressing technique to go to their workplace and remove their shoes, putting on relaxing slippers to stay comfortable, which helps them focus better on their tasks, and for women it helps soothe calf and ankle cramps caused by wearing high heels.



It’s a regular practice in Finland to sit in a sauna, which is a small house designed to experience dry heat sessions, with people, usually of the same gender, to de-stress themselves. A sauna temperature ranges from 170 to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Water is thrown over special rocks to produce steam and people sweat off the stress of the day. This also helps the body remove toxins.

sauna in finland


The Danish follow an interesting stress relieving trick by opening up their houses in the evenings for impromptu dinner gatherings. These gatherings are called a Hygge, or Cozy. Spending time with friends releases oxytocin neurotransmitters that relieves stress and increase feelings of well-being.



The French people enjoy a “petit aperitif,” a ritual where people sit with a glass of wine with a small snack of cashew nuts or olives. Taking time out from a hectic schedule helps refresh the mind and become ready to welcome the next day with increased energy. You can enjoy any preferred refreshing drink instead of wine.

petit aperitif


Chinese women indulge in a practice of de-stressing themselves by soaking their feet in hot water before they go to bed. This method of stress busting is called “zu yu.” Zu – 足 – zú means feet and 玉, pronounced yù means precious. Foot massage is also an enjoyable traditional practice of stress relief.

soaking feet in water


Per Ayurveda, head and shoulder massages are believed to balance the chakras, spread energy, and relieve migraines. One of the best practices to relieve stress is the “occipital rub.” To do this massage put your first three fingers behind your head at the spots just behind the ears where the neck connects to the head.

With your elbows bent, push your fingers toward and away from one another, creating a rubbing movement on the base of the skull.

Repeat the procedure for about 30 seconds then take a sigh of relief.

shoulders massage


A physical workout has always been considered a great stress buster. The chilly evenings in Ireland are the perfect setting for a brisk walk alone or with friends & family. Not only it does reduce stress, but it has been discovered to help release hormones that allow effective coping mechanisms when faced with a stressful situation. I usually do this de-stressing practice in the afternoons on our balcony, you can do the same in your yard under a tree, on a dock, or on your own balcony, wherever you are easily able to get to relax.


There are many other interesting techniques for you to try, keep looking for what works for you. Remember, everything is gonna be alright, so don’t worry, be happy 🙂

7 Relaxation and De-Stressing secrets from around the world

By Nima Shei, MD
[Last Updated on May 15th 2014]
Edited By Stephanie Dawson

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