"Do this now to instantly calm down and improve your resilience to stress," Dr Karan Raj – who is known for his informative videos on all-things-health, like this viral video on the best way to improve your sleep – told his 4.6 million TikTok followers. "Try humming for 10 seconds or gargling water in your throat," he added. "Or just singing."
Dr Raj continued: "When you do any of these you're activating the muscles of the back of the throat and the vocal cords which are connected to the vagus nerve." Doing this, he explains, will allow you to "access a parasympathetic state more easily" which will "make you feel relaxed".
As well as that, the expert points out that a "bonus benefit" of this technique is that "it also increases your heart rate variability [which] means your body is more capable of adapting to stressful situations."
His tip went down a real treat with fellow TikTokers, with plenty heading to the comments section to praise the doctor. "Tricks like this and breathing techniques have been a blessing for my anxiety," said one person, with another TikTok user commenting: "Anyone else humming right now?"
"Thanks, I was having a bad day [and] it helped a lot," a third user replied to Dr Raj, with another adding: "Anytime you're stressed just do it like Disney characters and start singing."
So, there you have it, next time you're having a mid-morning meltdown over missing your train, have a little singalong to yourself. Disney soundtrack = optional.
It's worth remembering though that as helpful at this tip may be for some people, it may not work for everyone, particularly those with severe anxiety or stress. With that in mind, if anxiety or stress is getting in the way of your day-to-day life, it's important to speak with your GP who can advise you of the treatments available – these might include therapy, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or joining a peer-to-peer support group.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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