A four-step 'brain hack' has been developed by one of the world's top neurologists to help fight stress.
Professor Ian Robertson, chair of psychology at Trinity College Dublin, says the stress-busting technique has been designed using scientific research. He claims that it is possible to 'tell yourself you are excited rather than stressed.' This helps trick the brain into a fight rather than flight response.
‘The 'four-step brain hack to harness stress' involves simple steps that can help people to turn pressure into positive energy.’
"Stress is a kind of energy that we can harness. When you are facing up to a difficult situation and feeling anxious, it's enough to say 'I feel excited' once out loud, and that tricks your brain. It changes the mindset from 'threat' to 'challenging'."
The first step of brain hack involves telling the brain that it is excited. The brain produces cortisol when it's stressed. While the brain produces the stress hormone, it can be convinced that it is excited and can use the hormones in a positive way.
In the second step, the patients should breathe in slowly for five seconds then out for six seconds. These breathing exercises have a similar effect to an anti-anxiety drug.
The third step involves a 'superhero pose' in which the person must puff their chest and adopt superhero pose and convince their body and brain that they will have a fight, rather than flight reaction.
The fourth step involves clenching the right fist for 45 seconds, opening it for 15 seconds and closing it again for 45 seconds. The professor claimed that the fourth step prepares the person for a challenge.
"Squeezing the hand gives a little boost to the brain. It increases activity in the left side of the brain. I always do it a few times before nerve-wracking presentations," said Professor Robertson.