Natural Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress is a big problem in society today and can cause some big problems in your body as well. Whether it’s worrying about bills, family matters, or other things that might be going on, it can sometimes feel like you’ve got the entire world on your shoulders. Fortunately, stress is also one of the most manageable ailments in existence, and it can be managed naturally.
Take a deep breath
The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but when it comes to stress, it’s actually quite true. Sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply for three to five minutes, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest. While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind.
Talk to Yourself Aloud
No, you’re not crazy (not to us, anyway). Talking calmly to yourself can be therapeutic. Tell yourself why you’re stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.
Use Vibration Therapy
Whole Body Vibration machines are also a great way to battle stress. Whole Body Vibration machines improve your mood and sense of well being by vibrating your entire body. The vibrations help you relax and can also help you fight insomnia (more on this later).
Talk to Someone
Call a friend or close family member and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle, and there’s no time that this is more evident than when you’re under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Listen to Music
Try taking a break and listening to relaxing classical music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. Alternatively, you can also listen to some natural sound effects, which can have the same positive effect as classical music.
Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. Unfortunately, it’s when we have the most work that we forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up. Try to avoid the vending machine and plan ahead. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.
Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy. However, bursting into a fit of giggles at your desk may not be the most appropriate way to deal with stress. Our suggestion: watch some classic Monty Python skits like “The Ministry of Silly Walks.” Those Brits are so hilarious, you’ll soon be cracking up, rather than cracking up.
A large dose of caffeine causes a short-term spike in blood pressure and may cause your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to go into overdrive. Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try green tea. It has less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system.
Focus Your Mind
The concept of “mindfulness” is a large part of meditative and somatic approaches to mental health and has become en vogue in psychotherapy. From practicing yoga and tai chi to meditation and Pilates, these systems of mindfulness help you improve both your physical and mental well-being through different exercises that are designed to prevent stress from becoming a problem in the first place.
We don’t mean going to the gym and doing some power lifting or getting ready for the next marathon. Doing a simple short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation by helping to release endorphins and boost your mood almost instantaneously.
Get Plenty of Sleep
There are a number of ways to improve sleep, such as body detoxification and the use of vibration. Stress can cause you to lose sleep and unfortunately, the lack of sleep in and of itself causes stress. Many people get caught in this vicious cycle, which causes their brain and body functions to corrode over time. It’s always recommended that you get seven to eight hours a night. Power naps may also help.
These are just a few ways to fight stress. Do you have other ways that work well for you? Let us know in the comments below or on social networks!