Are you struggling with stress and anxiety? Stress and anxiety are common problems that affect millions of people worldwide. While there are many ways to manage these conditions, some of them require time, effort, and sometimes, money.
However, one simple and affordable solution that you might not have considered yet is chewing gum. Chewing gum may be a simple, cheap and effective solution. But does it really work?
This article will explore the science behind chewing gum and its benefits for reducing stress levels. We’ll also share practical tips for using sugar-free chewing gum as a tool for managing anxiety.
Chewing Gum For Stress Relief & Anxiety: Does It Work?
Stress and anxiety are common issues that affect many people, and they can be caused by a variety of factors such as work, relationships, and health problems. It may be a temporary issue due to exams, moving house stress or a work event, or it could be an ongoing issue. Feeling anxious or stressed for prolonged periods can present many mental and physical health problems such as constant worry, insomnia, hair loss, difficulty concentrating, headaches, digestive problems, restlessness and more.
While there are many ways to manage stress and anxiety, and if it's prolonged you should seek professional advice, one simple and effective solution to reduce some symptoms of stress and anxiety is chewing gum. But what is the science behind this?
Studies have shown that chewing gum can reduce stress levels, improve alertness, and even help with concentration. It can also reduce the amount of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, in the body.
Here are the reasons why chewing gum works:
Firstly, it can increase blood flow to the brain, which can help improve cognitive function and reduce stress levels.
Secondly, chewing gum stimulates the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural painkillers and mood boosters.
Finally, chewing gum can reduce the levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can contribute to anxiety and depression.
Chewing gum can also be an effective way to manage anxiety when used in combination with other relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. By providing a distraction from anxious thoughts or feelings, chewing gum helps to reduce tension and promote calmness.
This article will continue to explore the various benefits of chewing gum to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as discuss how it can be used to help manage these conditions. We will also look at how it can be used with other therapies to maximise its effectiveness.
Studies Show Clear Link Between Chewing Gum & Reduction In Anxiety
So what are the studies and the science that back up the claims of chewing gum being a cheap and effective tool for managing stress and anxiety?
Many published papers in renowned scientific journals have reviewed the evidence and completed studies proving how chewing sugar-free gum is an effective way to decrease anxiety, reduce stress and even improve mood, productivity and alertness in many stressful situations.
Many studies have found a clear correlation between chewing gum and decreased anxiety levels. Here are just a snippet of the findings - you can find numerous studies and papers online if you’d like to do further research.
A 2009 study “Chewing gum alleviates negative mood and reduces cortisol during acute laboratory psychological stress” found that chewing gum can reduce cortisol levels, which is a hormone that is associated with stress. The study involved participants who were asked to complete a series of tasks while chewing either gum or no gum. The researchers found that those who chewed gum had lower cortisol levels compared to those who did not chew gum.
The Effects of Chewing Gum on Perceived Stress and Wellbeing in Students Under a High and Low Workload was a 2020 study by the Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology at Cardiff University. This study concluded that chewing a minimum of two pieces of gum for 20 minutes a day can have a beneficial impact on the user`s reported levels of stress, even under a heavy workload.
According to a 2016 study “Chewing gum and stress reduction”, there is a clear association between chewing gum and a decrease in anxiety levels, even in the face of a stress-inducing task intentionally designed to trigger a stress response among participants.
The 2022 paper “The Effects of Chewing Gum on Reducing Anxiety and Stress: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials” concludes “Based on current evidence, chewing gum is an inexpensive, well-tolerated, safe, and effective way to relieve anxiety and stress.”
While these studies suggest that chewing gum can potentially provide benefits for stress relief and anxiety reduction, it's important to note that chewing gum should be used as a complementary technique to other stress management strategies and should not be relied on as the sole method for managing stress and anxiety.
5 Simple Ways to Use Chewing Gum For Stress Relief & Anxiety Reduction
Stress and anxiety can take a toll on our mental health and well-being. But, there are natural remedies that can help us cope with stress and reduce our anxiety levels. Chewing gum is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety naturally. It has been proven to be an effective tool for relaxation, reducing stress, improving concentration, reducing fatigue, and increasing alertness.
Below, we will discuss five simple ways to use chewing gum for stress relief & anxiety reduction. Whether you are dealing with an upcoming deadline or just feeling overwhelmed, these tips can be beneficial in helping you de-stress quickly and efficiently. We will also look at some natural supplements for stress relief as well as relaxation techniques that you can use in combination with chewing gum for optimal results.
Here are five ways to use chewing gum for stress relief & anxiety reduction:
Chewing gum as a distraction technique
One way to use chewing gum for stress relief and anxiety reduction is as a distraction technique. If you're feeling anxious or stressed, try chewing a piece of gum and focusing on the flavour and texture of the gum. This can help redirect your focus and reduce anxiety.
Chewing gum as a relaxation technique
Another way to use chewing gum for stress relief and anxiety reduction is as a relaxation technique. Chewing gum can help you relax and calm down by stimulating the production of endorphins and reducing muscle tension. Try chewing gum for a few minutes and focusing on your breathing to help you feel more relaxed.
Chewing gum as a breathing technique
Chewing gum can also be used as a breathing technique to help you calm down during moments of anxiety. When you feel anxious, take a deep breath and start chewing gum. Focus on your breathing and the movement of your jaw as you chew. This can help regulate your breathing and reduce anxiety.
Chewing gum as a mindfulness technique
You can also use chewing gum as a mindfulness technique to help you stay present in the moment and reduce stress and anxiety. Pay attention to the taste and texture of the gum, and try to avoid getting lost in your thoughts.
Chewing gum as a mood booster
Finally, chewing gum can also help improve your mood by reducing stress and anxiety and promoting feelings of happiness and relaxation. Choose a flavour that you find uplifting, and use it as a quick pick-me-up during a busy day.
Tips for Using Chewing Gum for Stress Relief & Anxiety Reduction
When using chewing gum for stress relief and anxiety reduction, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Choose sugar-free gum, as sugar can cause a temporary increase in energy followed by a crash, which can exacerbate stress and anxiety.
Look for natural and/or organic chewing gums without artificial ingredients or flavourings that could have negative consequences for your overall health.
Opt for a flavour that you enjoy, as this will make the experience more enjoyable.
The best time to chew gum for stress relief and anxiety reduction may vary from person to person, but it's generally recommended to chew gum when you're feeling stressed or anxious. For example, you may want to chew gum before an important meeting, exam, or presentation to help calm your nerves.
To get the most benefit from chewing gum, it's important to chew it for the right amount of time. This can vary depending on the type of gum, but a good rule of thumb is to chew it for about 20-30 minutes. After that time, the flavour will start to fade, and the gum may lose its effectiveness.
While chewing gum can be an effective tool for stress relief and anxiety reduction, it's important to remember that it's not a cure-all solution. It's important to use gum in conjunction with other stress-reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, exercise, or meditation.
Additionally, if you find yourself relying on chewing gum too much to relieve stress and anxiety, it may be helpful to seek professional support or guidance. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and a professional can signpost you to the support and correct advice you need.
What Are The Best Types Of Gum For Stress Relief?
When it comes to using gum for stress relief, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Different types of gum can have different effects on individuals, and the best type of gum for you may depend on your personal preferences and needs. That being said, here are some general guidelines to consider:
When choosing gum for stress relief, as we mentioned above, it's important to choose a sugar-free option. Sugar can cause a temporary increase in energy followed by a crash, which can exacerbate stress and anxiety. Sugar is very detrimental to our health for a number of reasons. Sugar-free gum is better for dental health, which can also affect your overall well-being.
Choosing xylitol-based gum can be a better option for stress relief and anxiety reduction due to its natural sweetness and dental health benefits. Xylitol is a low-calorie sweetener that can help prevent tooth decay and improve oral health. It also has a lower glycemic index, which means it doesn't cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. It's a natural sweetener that is extracted from plants and therefore a better choice over artificial sweeteners, especially when considering it's oral health benefits, as when it comes to chewing gum or even food, you want to pick something that is good for your teeth too.
Mint is a popular flavour of gum that is known for its refreshing and cooling effects. The scent and taste of mint can help to alleviate stress and tension, and it can also aid in breathing and relaxation.
Lavender is a well-known natural remedy for stress relief, and some gum manufacturers offer lavender-flavoured gum. The scent of lavender has been shown to have calming effects on the body, and it can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Chamomile is another natural remedy that is often used for stress relief. Some gum manufacturers offer chamomile-flavoured gum, which can help to promote relaxation and calmness.
Cinnamon is a spicy and warm flavour that is known to have a comforting and soothing effect on the mind and body. Some people find that chewing cinnamon-flavoured gum can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
CBD chewing gum:
CBD gum is a type of chewing gum that contains cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound derived from the hemp plant. CBD has been shown to have potential benefits for reducing anxiety and stress and improving overall mental well-being. The CBD in the gum is released as you chew, allowing it to be absorbed by the body and potentially provide a calming and relaxing effect. Some people may find that the combination of chewing and CBD can be a powerful way to manage stress and anxiety.
Ultimately, the best type of gum for stress relief is one that you enjoy and that works well for you. Experiment with different flavours and types of gum to find the one that suits your needs the most. It's important to remember that chewing gum is just one of many techniques you can use to manage stress and anxiety, and it's always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing severe or chronic symptoms.
The Final Word On Chewing Gum For Anxiety & Stress Reduction
In conclusion, chewing gum is a simple, convenient, and affordable way to reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, as an added bonus, chewing gum can improve oral health amongst having other benefits. By using it as a distraction technique, relaxation technique, breathing technique, mindfulness technique, or mood booster, you can take control of your mental health and personal self-care practices and feel better in no time. So next time you're feeling stressed or anxious, consider reaching for a piece of sugar-free gum – your mind and body will thank you.