In today’s go-go-go world it’s all too common to feel excessively stressed. Being frazzled can really take a toll on your overall health and lead to a host of other ailments. The sources of your stress are often unavoidable.
What you can do, however, is be proactive in minimizing the extent to which you let them get to you.
Today we’re going to discuss 10 alternative and natural approaches to experiencing less stress, and ways that you can incorporate them into your life.
That’s very important, as too much stress can contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression, according to Gina Popeil, an experienced health consultant At Yeswellness and someone who’s very familiar with stress-reduction techniques.
Slow and Deep Breathing
There’s many ways that meditation or simple slow and deep breathing can help you effectively de-stress when you’re overwhelmed in a situation. Deep breathing brings more oxygen into the body, and that extra oxygen has a calming effect on your mind and body.
We recommend doing 10 to 20 minutes of slow, deep breathing daily to prevent stress.
You can even try deep breathing inside of an isolation tank, an emerging de-stressing tool! Try following these steps:
- Sit or lie down in a quiet, comfortable place
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose, counting to 5
- Now proceed to hold your breath for a 5 count, and then exhale for 5 as well
- You can repeat those steps 5 or 6 times until you calm down or feel more relaxed
Epsom Salt Bath
Stress causes low magnesium levels in the body as well as bumping up adrenaline levels – not a good mix if you’re under stress.
Epsom salt is especially high in magnesium, and magnesium is commonly regarded as the ultimate relaxation mineral.
What magnesium does very specifically in relation to stress is that it increases serotonin in the brain, and serotonin is the neurotransmitter related to a balanced mood.
Soaking up Epsom salts into your skin brings in added magnesium which helps to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and ease anxiety as well as less irritability, incidents of insomnia, and even abnormal heart rates.
- Mix 1 cup of Epsom salts with a few drops of a select aromatic essential oil and then add that to a hot bath
- Stir in your mix thoroughly so that the salt granules dissolve into the water
- Enjoy sitting in your hot Epsom salts bath for 20 minutes
- Schedule one of these 2 or 3 times a week
Drinking Chamomile Tea
Most people enjoy drinking a hot beverage, and making yours a chamomile tea is a good choice when you’re overly stressed. That’s because chamomile’s calming and soothing nature provides a nice sedative effect on the central nervous system.
It relaxes your muscles, eases anxiety, and promotes better sleep.
Sleeping well goes a long way in making your mind and body much more resilient in the face of stress.
Feel free to drink up to 4 cups of chamomile tea a day to combat stress.
Here’s how to prepare it:
- Add 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile to a cup of hot water
- Cover the mug and let the tea steep for 10 minutes
- Proceed to strain, and then add raw honey to sweeten as you like
- Consider adding some fresh chamomile flowers or essential oil to your bath to soothe your nerves
- Chamomile can also be ingested in supplement form, and they are usually found in any health store
An effective massage is great stress reliever for most people too. Strategic massage can help in opening blocked energy channels to reduce stress and boost your overall health, and having your massage focused on specific spots like your feet, hands, back, or head helps relax tense muscles, improve circulation, and suppress anxiety.
Incorporating sesame, coconut oil, or olive oil can really accentuate your benefits.
Here’s how you do it:
- Warm your massage oil of choice slightly, not too much
- Apply the warmed oil to massage your forehead, back, shoulders, and neck
- Then move on to massaging the bottom of your feet
- Take a warm bath for at least 20 minutes
- Go through this process as many times each day as necessary to reduce stress
Supplementing with Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is botanically classified as Withania somnifera, and sometimes it is also called winter cherry.
Whatever you’d like to call it, it’s a staple her in Ayurvedic medicine and one that you should keep in mind for relieving stress as it’s definitely an effective herb for that aim.
That’s because it naturally lowers cortisol levels in the blood, and having a large volume of cortisol coursing through your body is very detrimental. Unfortunately, that’s what occurs when you are under a lot of stress.
You shouldn’t have much difficulty finding Ashwagandha, in either fresh root, dried root, or powdered or supplement capsule form.
A recommended dosage is 1 to 2 grams of fresh or dried root boiled in a full cup of milk or water, and then ingested 3 times per day.
It may be a good idea to talk to your doctor first, and keep in mind that pregnant women and young children should not consume Ashwagandha.
Supplementing with Holy Basil
Similar to Ashwagandha, Holy Basil is also a popular herb for Ayurvedic therapeutic treatments and is impressively effective as a natural anti-stress agent.
In addition, the fact that it is an adaptogenic herb allows it to enhance the body’s ability to naturally counter physical and emotional stress and continue to function strongly when exposed to stress.
Anyone can chew between ten to 12 fresh holy basil leaves daily, or if you prefer to ingest it with a beverage you can make holy basil tea:
- Place 1 tablespoon of fresh holy basil leaves in a cup on boiling water
- Cover the mug and let the beverage steep for 5 minutes
- Add a bit of raw honey, and then enjoy the tea by sipping slowly on it
Green tea contains L-Theanine, a wonderful amino acid that prompts your brain to produce greater numbers of alpha brain waves which initiate a reduction in stress levels and also encourages relaxation while improving focus and allowing you to be more mentally alert.
More specifically, drinking tea is beneficial for reducing stress in that L-Theanine plays an essential role in the development of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is one of the 4 primary brain neurotransmitters and the one most involved in promoting and ideal balance between stimulation and relaxation.
A proper balance here is very important for healthily dealing with stress and minimizing its effects on you.
Here’s how to prepare green tea:
- Add 2 teaspoons of green tea leaves into a cup of hot water
- Cover the cup and steep the beverage for 5 minutes
- Strain and then add fresh lemon juice and / or raw honey to sweeten as you like
Go ahead and drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea a day if you’re especially stressed
Another effective folk remedy for stress is passionflower. Like L-Theanine, passionflower can increase GABA levels in the brain, and you experience less stress and anxiety as a result.
Passionflower is also most easily consumed as a tea. Prepare it as follows:
- Add 1 tablespoon of the dried herb to 1 cup of hot water
- Cover the mug and steep for about 10 minutes
- Strain, and then enjoy drinking this wonderfully therapeutic beverage
Passionflower can also be commonly found in liquid extract, tablets, or as a tincture. Again, it may be best consult with a doctor before starting with a supplement as it may interact with certain medications. Passionflower is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women and small children.
This one is a biggie.
Participating in vigorous physical activities has tremendous health benefits for the entire body, and it’s long been known that stress is washed away by getting your heart rate up and having a good sweat.
Whether it’s aerobic, moderate or high intensity exercise or resistance training, it will promote the release of beneficial hormones that put you in a much better mood for up to 24 hours afterwards.
Vigorous exercise also promotes your brain to produce BDNF, or brain-derived neurotropic factor. It’s pretty much a super fertilizer for your body that promotes positive growth and regeneration and optimizes body processes including the regulation of brain chemicals and processes that let you be more resistant to stress.
Then there’s also the fact that there’s a great deal of positive reinforcement to be had when you look in the mirror and see you’re in much better shape. Do your best to make a commitment to exercising, and be insistent with yourself that you do it regularly. You’ll be glad you did1
Take B vitamins
Taking B Vitamins, such as by using the VitaminVape is also highly recommended for preventing stress and improving your mood. The eight of them — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 & B12 — facilitate proper functioning of your brain and nervous system, as well as helping to promote relaxation and pushing back against stress and fatigue.
Many times irritability, depression, and apathy are increased considerably when a person is vitamin B deficient. If you’re feeling any of those, you can’t go wrong taking additional supplementation with a quality B complex vitamin.
You can also incorporate more of certain foods into your diet. Foods that are high in B vitamins include whole grains, beans, peas, peanuts, avocados, potatoes, bananas, legumes, spinach and kale, blackstrap molasses, eggs and dairy products.
If you’re considering taking B vitamin supplements, again it’s a smart idea to consult with a doctor first.