Stress can be helpful in some circumstances. It creates fight or flight, which can give us the focus to get out of dangerous situations. The type of stress we will cover in this article is the stress that can lead to bodily issues like migraine, depression, hypertension (high blood pressure), and insomnia. There are many common ways to relieve stress that do not include the need to take tranquilizers or anti-depressants.
Mindfulness is commonly practiced throughout the world. By focusing on our thoughts we can disperse stress, worry, and anxiety. A common cause of stress is shallow breathing. Mindfulness can help us focus on our breath. The body receives more oxygen during this simple form of meditation. The more you practice mindfulness, the easier you will become aware of stressful thoughts when they arise.
Take up Exercise
Gentle exercise, whether it be walking, jogging, or a spin class, release feel good hormones called endorphins. They help to disperse stress and leave the mind feeling relaxed and focused. Often feelings of anxiety can make us feel like we don’t want to leave the house, or socialize with friends, but there is always a benefit in pushing the body through a sluggish mindset. The endorphin effect can last for several hours afterward. Regular exercise can also improve sleep. If you find it difficult to motivate yourself during exercise, find a friend to train with.
Try to eat a diet rich in color. Instead of the afternoon latte to boost your energy levels, try a shot of wheatgrass, or opt for a vegetable or fruit juice from the trendy juice bar in the mall. Stress can lead us to want to eat comfort foods like chips and ice cream, and the release of the stress hormone cortisol can lead to unwanted weight gain around the abdominal area. Instead of giving into this desire and risking weight gain around the belly, have a handful of berries or a few squares of dark chocolate instead.
The experts at Prevention recommend asparagus—rich in folate, berries—high in antioxidants and excellent for brain function, and even chocolate. The University of California conducted a study on chocolate, which showed that the subjects ate more chocolate during periods of depression. Eating too much chocolate is not helpful, but the experts found that eating chocolate in moderation improves mood.
Relax in the Tub
Taking a bath is relaxing for the mind. Even experts say that a soak helps to reconnect us to our beginning in the womb. Light a candle, add several drops of lavender oil, and play soothing music.
Sip on Green Tea and Chamomile Tea
Although green tea has a distinct flavor that may not be favored by all young people, experts at the University of Illinois say that two cups a day can improve mental performance. There is also research to determine that drinking green tea can support slimming, as it’s now available to buy in capsule form.
Chamomile tea is a recommended tea to drink at bedtime. In a study of 47 subjects conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, the subjects were given chamomile supplements to treat their anxiety disorder. Over a period of eight weeks, the subjects experienced a reduction in their anxiety. It’s available in both tea (loose or in a bag) and capsule form.
Try a Massage With Essential Oils
Try a scalp massage with diluted essential oil of lavender, or rub the oil into the neck, shoulders, and back. You don’t need to spend big bucks on a professional massage. Ask a friend or family member to give you a rub down. In a small dish, mix two tablespoons of carrier oil into like sweet almond oil or jojoba oil with two drops of lavender oil and mix well.
Lavender oil has soothing properties. It can also induce sleep. Try adding a couple of drops of lavender oil into or bath, or rub a drop into your temples before you go to bed. It’s also effective to put a drop on your pillow.
There are many natural ways to relieve stress. Teas like chamomile and green tea can support a healthy sleep, while lavender oil is soothing for the mind. A bath is another way to relax the body, while mindfulness can be practiced anywhere. Regular exercise can also reduce stress and boost endorphin levels.