These last couple of years have been quite a wild ride, haven't they! We're all a bit stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, exhausted and feeling a little traumatised.
My work as a researcher has me investigating mental health issues, and I'm always interested in hearing about new or different ways that we might be able to help manage this stress and anxiety.
What I didn't expect was to find out that Taylor Swift might have been right on the money when she told us to shake it off.
Stress is a completely natural reaction to things going wrong - but long term, or chronic stress, can make us irritable, anxious and depressed and have some pretty serious health consequences.
Which is why it's really important that we can find ways to manage or reduce stress. It might sound a little strange, but shaking might be one way we can do that.
There's a practice known as tension and trauma releasing exercises, or TRE.
It involves vibrating or shaking the body to help release tension and stress.
The idea is that these shaking exercises can help to overcome our natural stress responses.
When we feel threatened or stressed (imagine coming face to face with a lion ... or living through a global pandemic) our autonomic nervous system really kicks into gear. It gives us a boost of adrenaline and cortisol - hormones which increase our blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate, among other things.
It's commonly known as the "fight or flight" response - a burst of strength and energy that allows us to respond to threats. But we also need a way to reverse this, to lower heart rate and blood pressure and release that energy.
Shaking our body might help with this, easing an overstimulated nervous system back to calm.
The scientific evidence about whether and how it actually works is a bit sparse at the moment, but we do see similar behaviour in animals.
You might have noticed it in your own pets - a dog for example that trembles for a while after a thunderstorm. Some researchers suggest this tremoring releases the trauma by releasing muscle tension, and that it might work for us too.
So, if you're feeling the pressure at the moment (and let's face it, who isn't!) maybe try and find a few minutes to take a page out of Tay Tay's book, and shake it off, shake it off ...
Dr Mary McMillan is a senior lecturer at the School of Science and Technology, University of New England.
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