Stress is and will always be a part of our daily existence, affecting the general population physically, emotionally, and mentally. Many doctor office visits are due to illnesses such as anxiety, migraine headaches, digestive issues, autoimmune disorders, obesity, diabetes which have been traced to be stress related or brought on by chronic stress. We may not have the solution to getting rid of stress, but we can certainly look at ways to lessen its negative effects on us naturally.
Learning to identify the onset of stress and practicing the following natural stress relief techniques listed below will greatly improve your well being and quality of life.
- Exercise – whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, running, dancing, or yoga – all of these activities significantly improve your physical and psychological balance regulating your hormones and sleep patterns.
- Eat – nutrient rich foods loaded with vitamins and minerals. These are much needed by your body and brain to combat stress. Dairy, dark leafy vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, fruit and nuts are just a few excellent energy and antioxidant sources for your brain and body. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and excessive sugar as these only give you a temporary boost, followed by fatigue and a depressive state of mind.
- Drink – teas and take herbal remedies such as chamomile, ginkgo biloba, kava kava, st. johns’ wort. These improve mental clarity, have calming, relaxing, and mood boosting effects and are highly effective in reducing the stress hormones.
- Meditate – and practice deep breathing exercises to relax your body, increase mental alertness and bring yourself inner peace. Meditation is known to help manage medical conditions, including stress by restoring your calm and enhancing your physical and emotional well being.
- Massage – by a therapist or with your own hands relieves muscle tension, improves circulation, boosts energy, and enhances concentration. It promotes better sleep patterns, as well as increase the production of endorphins, your body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Essential oils from healing plants and herbs such as ginseng, holy basil and ashwagandha regulate hormones and the physiological functions of the body.
- Sleep – 6 to 8 hours every night to improve how you think and feel during the day. A good nights’ sleep will restore and improve your mental and physical health, making you feel mentally sharp, emotionally fit and energetic throughout the day.
Stress is our natural response to challenge. So as long as we face challenges in our everyday lives, stress is here to stay. How we handle it differs from person to person as what is too much for one may not be to another. Your ability to deal with stress can increase your tolerance and how you bounce back from life’s challenges. Recognize the symptoms, and be willing to step back so you can relax, take a deep breath and be armed with the stress busters on your personal journey to wellness. Know that this is just another challenge thrown at you and you can handle it.