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Wedding stress got you down? If you're at the end of your rope, you might think about retreating for a bit and taking a little break from the source of your stress (um, planning the wedding!). While we'll never downplay the merits of an afternoon at the spa with your girlfriends, there's an in-the-moment trick you can try next time stress rears its ugly head.
Researchers at the USC Marshall School of Business say it's as simple as talking to someone who uniquely understands your situation, and better yet, someone who is as stressed out as you are (think: your mother-in-law, or even your very type-A maid of honor).
In the study, the researchers asked 52 female undergraduate students to chat in groups of two about how they felt about giving an upcoming speech that they were all assigned. The researchers measured levels of stress hormone (cortisol) in their bodies before, during and after the speeches. Guess what? That chatting actually helps! Stress hormones were measurably less thanks to the pre-speech sharing.
"Sharing a threatening situation with a person who is in a similar emotional state... buffers individuals from experiencing the heightened levels of stress that typically accompany threat," the study authors found.
Of course, planning a wedding is different from giving a speech in front of your classmates or colleagues, but we think there's a smart takeaway here for brides, too. So if you're worried that your wedding dress alterations still aren't done, or you're nervous about saying your vows, instead of stifling your stress (or panic!), find a pal to talk to who gets it.