Stress is useful because it shows us when to slow down. However, it can create imbalances in the body when left unattended. Maintain awareness of your stress levels and how you manage them. If you're seeking holistic, natural ways to alleviate stress, look no further. The following methods are simple and effective forms of relief.
1. Practice Deep Breathing
Taking slow, full breaths is the fastest way to calm your body and mind. The deep breathing you experience during sleep comes from your nervous system's parasympathetic state, also known as the "rest and digest" mode. When you stop to breathe, you are softening your "fight or flight" response and encouraging the parasympathetic nervous system to come online.
Deep breathing techniques can be learned through various yoga and meditation traditions. Don't overthink it, though; even pausing for three to five breaths while at work, on the road, or in an argument will transform your ability to handle the stress at hand.
2. Take a Long Walk
Movement releases endorphins. These feel-good compounds in your brain can counter the hormone cortisol that is emitted during times of stress.
Going for a walk provides a helpful distance from complex problems. When it's just you and the fresh air, there is a greater opportunity to process the events of the day and ponder your next move wisely. Exercising of any kind may increase your mental and emotional clarity. This gives you a heightened capacity for addressing anything stressful in your life.
3. Use Herbal Remedies
Throughout the ages, human beings have used plant allies to relieve stress. Herbal teas like mint and chamomile can bring calm at any time of day. Meanwhile, CBD flower may soften your anxiety response with its anti-inflammatory properties. A few drops of a soothing essential oil like lavender or eucalyptus can also provide on-the-spot mood stabilization.
Figure out which herbal remedies are soothing to you, and keep them with you during stressful situations. You may feel your nervousness decrease simply by having herbs at the ready.
4. Step Away From Screens
We are constantly looking at our phones and computers. Give your brain and your eyes a break! When you are feeling stressed, resist the urge to distract yourself with screens. Try to decompress from the constant communication and information processing. Put your phone away for an hour or two and see how it impacts your mood.
5. Write Down Your Thoughts
Carrying around a journal is one way to remind yourself that it's OK to pause and digest what's going on in your life. Recording your thoughts without judgment may lighten the load that's weighing you down. It can also help you to sort through your emotions before confronting a conflict with another person. Write it down, and let it go.
6. Get a Massage
Stress is a physiological phenomenon that impacts the body in various ways. Receiving bodywork of any kind can reset your entire system after a stressful event. Professional massage will release tension from the body, restore frayed nerves and tissue, and promote a deep night's sleep. Be sure to work with someone who's a good fit for you, and only ask for deep tissue work if you will be able to recover properly.
7. Cook Yourself Dinner
Sometimes, a relaxing night in can provide the perfect balance to your busy schedule. Maybe you've been eating on the go and you're craving a lovingly prepared meal enjoyed in the comfort of your home. Invite a friend or two over and make yourselves some nourishing comfort food like chicken curry or vegetable pasta. Have fun and let it be a reward for all of your hard work.
8. Speak to a Therapist
Professional advice is a worthy pursuit in times of ongoing stress. If you are experiencing a major life change or a loss of someone close to you, mental health counselors can provide you with gentle, effective tools for accepting your emotions.
There are many different modalities to try. Some therapists will challenge you to change your thought patterns and core beliefs, while others will simply assign exercises to keep you centered during difficult times.
9. Wash Away Your Worries
Warm showers and baths are profoundly cleansing. Treating yourself to a luscious evening with candles, Epsom salts, and moisturizers can help you to unwind at the end of the week. As you soak or shower, visualize the water washing away your stress and anxiety.
When it comes to leading a healthy life, returning to a state of calm after a stressful day is essential. Remember to allow your emotions to pass through you as they come up, and treat yourself with compassion no matter the circumstance. Create a stress relief ritual that works for you and return to it as often as possible. You will be amazed by how much better you feel!