Managing Stress with a Stick of This

Medically reviewed in September 2021

Next time you are stressed and don't have cash for yoga or a massage, grab a stick of gum. The benefits of chewing gum include calming properties.

A little chewing just might be an inexpensive ticket to managing stress, a study suggests. The folks in the study who chewed gum were far less likely to report feeling stressed than their gum-free peers.

Oh, the Nerve
In fact, the research on over 2,000 full-time workers had gum chewers reporting less stress and less depression. It's not clear if the gum chewers were simply happier people by nature or if the chewing somehow helped those feelings -- perhaps by stimulating the vagus nerve, a key player in inducing relaxation and managing stress. And, no surprise, the study did receive funding from a gum manufacturer, so more research is needed to confirm the link. Still, the benefits of chewing gum are worth a try. (Here's another do-it-yourself trick to relaxing at the end of a tough day.)

Don't Mess with Stress
Chronic stress can dampen your quality of life and put your good health at risk long term. And while it might not hurt to try a little chew therapy (hey, it works for dogs!), sipping black tea can work wonders as well.

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