In today’s “go-go-go” world it’s all too common to feel excessively stressed. Being stressed out can really take a toll on your overall health and lead to a host of other health issues. The sources of your stress are often unavoidable, but there are steps that you can take to reduce your stress levels naturally.
Stress can impact our lives in multiple ways.
Too much stress can contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression, according to Gina Popeil, an experienced health consultant at Yes Wellness and someone who’s very familiar with stress-reduction techniques.
Along with other physical issues, one of the most notable health issues caused by stress is high blood pressure. According to a study published by the Official Publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin,
“Stress can cause hypertension through repeated blood pressure elevations as well as by stimulation of the nervous system to produce large amounts of vasoconstricting hormones that increase blood pressure. Factors affecting blood pressure through stress include white coat hypertension, job strain, race, social environment, and emotional distress. “
Likewise, it can also significantly affect your mental health, increasing your risk of conditions like depression and anxiety.
As stated by a study published in Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry,
“Furthermore, the question was raised whether a depression type could be identified particularly stress-inducible. This question, too, was answered in the affirmative.”
Depression and anxiety also can lead to even further health issues. For example, do you know what causes dementia? Depression.
What you can do, however, is be proactive in minimizing the extent to which you let the stress of daily-life get to you. The tips listed below are designed to help you manage stress at it comes into your life, and live a more stress-free life!
How to Reduce Stress Naturally – Physical Activity and Exercise
Exercise is a huge component of stress relief.
According to ACSMs Health & Fitness Journal,
“Exercise can be an effective component of a stress management program, and all types of exercise can be beneficial for stress management. Exercise programs consistent with the current recommendations to improve health can be prescribed to manage stress. Fitness professionals should recognize that it might be necessary to refer a client to a psychologist or other health care provider to help develop strategies for managing stressors that produce chronic and acute episodic stress.”
If you are unaware of the best exercises or the most effective workout plans, then you should find a gym or trainer where you can get advice. For example, you could search for the Best Gym in London to find a gym that is right for you, if you live in that area.
Whether it’s steady aerobic exercise, moderate exercise, or high intensity exercise, exercising will help enable you to reduce the stress you are feeling. Here’s how:
How Does Exercise Help You Reduce Stress?
In my opinion, exercise is the most important thing that you can do to battle stress.
Personally, I believe you should schedule time for exercise the way you would schedule a therapy appointment – because that’s essentially what it is anyways.
Exercise is a physical and emotional release from the things which are stressing you out, and there are a variety of different ways that exercise can help you reduce stress.
As stated by Public Health Records,
“The strongest evidence suggests that physical activity and exercise probably alleviate some symptoms associated with mild to moderate depression. The evidence also suggests that physical activity and exercise might provide a beneficial adjunct for alcoholism and substance abuse programs; improve self-image, social skills, and cognitive functioning; reduce the symptoms of anxiety; and alter aspects of coronary-prone (Type A) behavior and physiological response to stressors. “
Keep reading below to see why exercise can help you with stress management!
When you become stressed, your hormones become disturbed, and this creates additional health problems. You should not take these health problems lightly.
Exercise reduces your body’s stress hormones (like cortisol) in the long run.
Although intense exercise or sport competitions can increase cortisol levels in the short term, even these types of exercise are beneficial for reducing stress overall. Furthermore, according to studies such as one published by the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation,
“low intensity exercise (40%) does not result in significant increases in cortisol levels, but, once corrections for plasma volume reduction occurred and circadian factors were examined, low intensity exercise actually resulted in a reduction in circulating cortisol levels.”
Exercise also helps to produce endorphins; chemicals that enhance your mood and act as natural painkillers.
As stated by The Physician and Sportsmedicine,
“Increased blood levels of endorphins after exercise have been cited to explain everything from runners’ high to reduced pain perception, but little is known about these recently isolated substances or their functions.”
Along with that, vigorous exercise 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.
If you exercise often, you will stabilize your hormones and develop a healthier body and mind.
Whether you have insomnia, or you simply cannot sleep enough, exercise can help. Along with helping you fall asleep, exercise can also enhance your sleep quality- which could be negatively affected by anxiety and stress.
As stated by Clinics in Sports Medicine,
“Historically, perhaps no daytime behavior has been more closely associated with better sleep than exercise. The assumption that exercise promotes sleep has also been central to various hypotheses about the functions of sleep. Hypotheses that sleep serves an energy conservation function, a body tissue restitution function, or a temperature down-regulation function all have predicted a uniquely potent effect of exercise on sleep because no other stimulus elicits greater depletion of energy stores, tissue breakdown, or elevation of body temperature, respectively. Exercise offers a potentially attractive alternative or adjuvant treatment for insomnia.”
If you have trouble falling asleep because of an over-active mind, exercising can be a significant help for you.
When you exercise on a regular basis then you might also feel more confident and capable in your body, which also enhances mental well-being and reduces 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.
A study on the difference between exercisers and non-exercisers that was published in Psychology & Health determined:
- People who exercise had a more positive body image than people who don’t exercise
- After exercise intervention, participants reported a more positive body image compared to the non-exercising control participants
- People who exercised had a significant improvement in body image scores following an exercise intervention
“We concluded that exercise was associated with improved body image. Moderating variables and implications for exercise prescription to improve body image were discussed.”
Visual stimulation is one of the key elements in boosting your confidence, so make sure you wear proper gym outfits while training, and you will start walking proud again in no time. Do your best to make a commitment to exercising, and be insistent with yourself that you do it regularly. You’ll be glad you did!
Here are a few options for stress relief which involve physical activity and exercise:
Running is a terrific way to relieve stress. It gives you the boost you need to start, continue, or end your day in the right way.
Adding running to your life is something that you will not regret. It takes time to build up the stamina and the endurance, but you will not regret what you gain from it.
Running is a battle with yourself, and you win every time you put your running shoes back on.
It is rewarding on so many different levels that the benefits will just keep coming the longer you put one foot in front of the other.
Jose Lopez, Head Trainer at Build N Box, brings you five ways running can help reduce your stress levels:
Running Clears Your Mind
A good run is perfect for clearing out what is bothering you about your life.
You can step outside or step on the treadmill and everything just fades away into the movement. The sound of your foot hitting the pavement is calming and the repetitiveness of the motion helps your mind calm down. This allows you to zone out into the run.
There is nothing, but you and the movement left.
Getting caught in your own negative thoughts can be debilitating. Running is a good way to engage your prefrontal cortex and your hippocampus. One controls your focus with the repetitive action of running and the other helps your memory and learning capabilities.
The entire experience can even be meditative as you lose yourself in the motion. All these things are good for giving you control over your own emotions.
The Endorphin Rush
Giving yourself a healthy boost of endorphins by running every day or several times a week is good for mood stabilization and it will just make you feel better.
According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness,
“Positive mood was increased, and negative mood decreased, after running. The main changes in mood caused by running in these conditions are therefore quantitative rather than qualitative. Improvements in mood were greater in women than in men, largely because women experienced a worse mood state than did men before running.”
Your brain releases neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are endorphins.
Endorphins are a product of the central nervous system. They come into play when you exercise.
Endorphins help your mind relax into the movement as a way of allowing your body to be able to push itself through the activity. This is training your mind and body to accept the benefits of the movement and the ability to be able to improve upon it.
Running Helps Boost Your Self-Esteem
You work hard in life to improve yourself and your family. This gives you a feeling of pleasure for your own accomplishments.
When you feel healthy and feel good about your body, you get a self-esteem boost. High self-esteem has been linked to being able to handle your daily challenges in a much better way as you are in a much better emotional state.
Running Forces You to Breathe Deeply
It’s no secret that taking deep breaths helps calm you down in moments of stress.
Running forces you to do just that.
When you run you have to control your breathing in order to keep a good pace and provide your body with the oxygen needed to continue your movements.
With this controlled breathing, you reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, causing your muscles to relax and stress levels to reduce.
Running Can Help You Deepen Your Social Connections
Running with a friend or coworkers can deepen social connections. It is good having friends at any stage if your life. It is good for your mind, body, and spirit to connect with other humans and enjoy common interests.
This connection along with everything else on this list will give you peace of mind and help you reduce the stress in your life.
Friends are there to help you improve your mood and lift you up when you are down. Add running as your social connector and you will get the stress relief from the endorphins, the controlled breathing, and the clear mind along with a friend to help you keep moving.
If you are able to run at work with your colleagues you can connect with them through a shared passion and improve your work relationships at the same time.
As someone who has Tourette Syndrome and deals with a unique form of stress every single day, I can confidently say that practicing yoga is my favorite way to naturally reduce stress.
I cannot imagine my life without yoga any more, and once you get into a routine of practicing yoga, I am sure you will notice a dramatic effect on how stressed you are each day and how you handle stressful situations.
Practicing yoga provides multiple benefits.
For example, it’s a great form of physical exercise, allowing you to increase your flexibility. In addition, this exercise places emphasis on your breathing.
This will help you become more relaxed during the session. In addition, the physical nature of the activities will give you something to focus on when thoughts are racing through your head.
You should always do your best to find the best gyms in order to have the best yoga and gym personal trainer.
There is also the meditation and mind-body connection aspect of yoga, which helps you become more in-tune with your body and more capable of understanding your own emotions.
As per a study published in The West Indian Medical Journal,
“The state of the mind and that of the body are intimately related. If the mind is relaxed, the muscles in the body will also be relaxed. Stress produces a state of physical and mental tension.
Yoga, developed thousands of years ago, is recognized as a form of mind-body medicine. In yoga, physical postures and breathing exercises improve muscle strength, flexibility, blood circulation and oxygen uptake as well as hormone function. In addition, the relaxation induced by meditation helps to stabilize the autonomic nervous system with a tendency towards parasympathetic dominance.
Physiological benefits which follow, help yoga practitioners become more resilient to stressful conditions and reduce a variety of important risk factors for various diseases, especially cardio-respiratory diseases.”
If you’re interested in practicing yoga, here are the a few of the best yoga poses which can help you with managing stress:
Chronic pain in any part of your body can cause a headache. If back pain accompanies your headache, Ananda Balasana (also known as Happy Baby Pose) is a great way to help ease both the pain in your back and your brain.
Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin Pose) is a great way to ease a headache caused by neck and back pain. It is a great way to stretch your back and neck as well as stimulate blood flow to your brain.
Dolphin Pose also gives you an additional burst of oxygen which can provide you with energy, and ease your headache and tension.
Padangusthasana is one of the most basic yoga poses and can help you get rid of a headache almost instantly. It’s a very easy move which only requires you to bend forward, touching your big toes with your hands. Using Padangusthasana will allow blood to rush down to your head, helping to improve both circulation and oxygen flow.
Paschimottanasana is another simple yoga pose. Paschimottanasana is a seated forward bend that will not only ease your headache but also help greatly reduce stress. Taking this pose relaxes both your body and your mind.
Similar to the Padangusthasana, Prasarita Padottanasana will benefit your neck, shoulders, back, and head.
Prasarita Padottanasana causes blood to quickly flow to your head and relieve your headache pain.
Shavasana is generally the final pose in any yoga practice, and it is generally known as the most relaxing pose in yoga.
Shavasana is a great way to reduce a headache as well as provide you with an overall feeling of relaxation. It is not only a great way to get rid of a headache, but it can also help to ease other muscle aches as well.
If your headache is stress-related, the Supta Virasana pose can help ease the tension in your shoulders and back. This yoga pose will help you to relax and will very quickly relieve your headache.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall) will instantly fill you with a sense of peace and calmness in your mind, body, and soul. To do this pose, you only need a sturdy wall and your yoga mat. In a matter of seconds, your tension and headache will disappear.
You can easily stay in this yoga pose for 5-minutes per day when you have free time.
Especially for people who drive a lot or sit in an office chair most of the day, Viparita Karani is an especially useful yoga pose.
Diet & Nutrition Tips for Reducing Stress
Along with exercising properly, changing your diet can have a significant impact on your stress levels as well.
According to The Psychiatric Clinics of North America,
“Stress refers to a reaction given a particular stimulus. Stress is a common problem in most modern societies. Stress creates greater physiologic demands. Unhealthy eating patterns will only result in an increased level of stress, followed by further health problems if in the future if the issues are not resolved.”
Whether it is cutting out a certain type of food, or adding a new supplement to your diet, there are a lot of ways you can improve your diet to reduce stress! Check out a few of my favorite tips:
Drinking Green Tea
Green tea contains L-Theanine, a wonderful amino acid that helps your brain produce greater numbers of alpha brain waves. These alpha brain waves initiate a reduction in stress levels, and also encourages relaxation while improving focus and allowing you to be more mentally alert.
More specifically, drinking green 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.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences,
“Theanine has been studied for its potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition, and boost mood and cognitive performance in a synergistic manner with caffeine. It relaxes the brain, thereby reducing stress and anxiety with tranquilizing effects. L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. “
You can also try drinking matcha green tea, which contains more antioxidants and other beneficial properties of green tea.
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Drinking Chamomile Tea
Drinking chamomile tea is another excellent 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. According to a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine,
“The use of chamomile extract can significantly improve sleep quality among elderly people. Thus, it can be used as a safe modality for promoting elderly people’s 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!
If you’d like to buy chamomile tea, I suggest you buy this one because the tea also contains lavender, another soothing herb:
- Settles your nervous system when stressed.
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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 herb in Ayurvedic medicine and one that you should certainly use for relieving stress as it’s definitely an effective herb for that goal.
Ashwagandha naturally lowers cortisol levels in the blood, which is the marker for stress within the body. Also, ashwagandha helps strengthen your immune system and body when it is stressed. As stated by a study on ashwagandha published in the International Journal of Crude Drug Research,
“The drug prevented increase in adrenal weight and decrease in ascorbic acid and Cortisol content of adrenals during stress. It appears to induce a state of non-specifically increased resistance (SNIR) during stress.”
You shouldn’t have much difficulty finding Ashwagandha, it’s available in either fresh root, dried root, or powdered or supplement capsule form.
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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.
As stated in one study,
“It is a potent adaptogen with antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant, antiviral, carminative and expectorant activity. Tulsi, or Holy Basil, has a long tradition of use in Ayurvedic, Siddha, and the Unani-Tibb systems of medicine. It is considered a Rasayana or rejuvenative medicine and is traditionally used to improve memory, to treat coughs, colds, indigestion, asthma and fatigue. In addition, in animal studies, it increases endurance, inhibits ulcer formation, and protects against gamma radiation.”
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Use Passionflower as a Tea or Supplement
Another effective folk remedy for stress is passionflower. According to Complementary Medical Research,
“The passion flower extract investigated in the present study appears to be effective in improving resilience and Quality of Life (QoL) in patients suffering from nervous restlessness and is well tolerated.”
Like L-Theanine, passionflower can increase GABA levels in the brain, and you experience less stress and anxiety as a result.
Passionflower can be commonly found in liquid extract, tablets, or as a tincture. If you’dlike to try a passionflower tincture, this is a great option:
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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, amongst others.
Taking B Vitamins 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.
According to research published in Human Psychopharmacology,
“After individual differences in personality and work demands were statistically controlled, the vitamin B complex treatment groups reported significantly lower personal strain and a reduction in confusion and depressed/dejected mood after 12 weeks.”
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 supplementing with a quality B -Complex vitamin.
You can also incorporate more of certain foods into your diet. Foods that are high in Vitamin-B include whole grains, beans, peas, peanuts, avocados, potatoes, bananas, legumes, spinach and kale, black-strap molasses, eggs and dairy products.
If you’re considering taking Vitamin-B supplements, again it’s a smart idea to consult with a doctor first. However, Vitamin B supplements are generally safe because they are water soluble, and the excess you intake is excreted through urine rather easily.
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Minimize Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. If you drink high doses of caffeine, then it could maximize stress.
As stated by research published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension,
“Caffeine elevates blood pressure (BP) and stress hormone secretion. These effects are larger and more prolonged in primary hypertension in persons at high risk of developing hypertension. Stress combined with caffeine exerts additive effects on BP and stress hormones. The combination of caffeine and stress in the workplace can cause elevated BP over a period of hours, with greater effects on persons at risk for hypertension.”
If you exercise a lot and use a pre workout product, you should try switching to a stimulant free pre workout product if you are under work or personal life stress. Also, you could try switching to a nootropic supplement like the popular smart pill by Lucid.
Along with that, studies show that coffee could be healthy in moderation, but it is not for everyone. Instead, try drinking types tea such as oolong tea or yerba mate tea which energizes you but doesn’t contain as much caffeine!
Lifestyle Tips for Reducing Stress
Along with these diet and exercise tips, there are many other ways of reducing stress as well. Check out these tips which involve small actions or treatments you can do for yourself which will help you reduce stress naturally!
Slow and Deep Breathing
One of the best ways to become or remain calm is by meditating frequently. As stated by the Journal of Psychosomatic Research,
“A meditation-based stress management program can be effective in relieving anxiety symptoms in patients with anxiety disorder.”
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.
Meditation has also been linked to an improvement in your concentration levels, helping you focus on important tasks at work. There is a range of techniques that you can use when meditating, depending on which one produces the most benefits for you.
For example, you can try focusing on a single point and removing all thoughts from your head. When doing this, you can also try to repeat a single mantra. This can help improve your concentration and help you feel more prepared for the start of each day.
Alternatively, you can try observing thoughts, without judgment, as they pass through your head. This can give you a greater insight into how you think, allowing you to introduce more inner-balance into your life. Finally, there is a range of classes and smartphone apps that you can try downloading.
I recommend doing 10 to 20 minutes of slow, deep breathing daily to prevent stress.
If you would like to try taking a nap to reduce stress, I recommend taking a power nap in the afternoon, about 15-60 minutes after your lunch. The reason for that is the fact that we are biologically most tired at this time of the day.
Also, before you take a nap, you need to do a couple of essential things.
First, find a quiet and dark place. If you can take a nap at home, that’s great. Otherwise, search for a cozy place where you could completely relax.
If the place is not quiet, then you can use a pair of headphones (standard or noise-canceling) that can fix the noise issue. Also, it is usually quite a daunting task to find a dark place in the afternoon. Therefore, we recommend using a high-quality sleep mask.
Then you should try doing some light stretching, which should help you relax. A 5-min stretch is usually long enough.
Next, write down the main thoughts that are running around your brain and keeping you occupied. This should additionally help you relax and focus on breathing before you drift to a short afternoon sleep.
Find a warm blanket and a comfortable pillow if possible. Otherwise, you can also take a nap sitting on a chair without using a pillow. Optimal sleep conditions might be beneficial, but they are not absolutely required.
Additionally, remember to set your alarm clock!
You can also use a smartphone app for sleeping or napping that might guide you through the nap and automatically wake you up. Such apps are great if you are stressed out because by having a guided meditation, falling asleep will be easier. If you prefer to take a nap without any electronic devices, that’s fine as well.
Then try to drift off to short sleep. Try to be as relaxed as possible just before you fall asleep.
After you wake up after a (hopefully) great nap, take a minute to restore your power and completely wake up.
Then you can continue with your daily activities.
If you follow this exact procedure that was originally developed by this company that teaches about sleep and performance, you should fall asleep in most cases. Now and then, you won’t be able to do it, but if you stay relaxed for the whole nap period, you will still get most of the benefits and feel more relaxed and energized. You can take a nap every day if you want to.
However, if you feel exhausted every afternoon, we do recommend consulting your doctor.
In any case, naps are a great way to restore your energy, boost your creativity, get additional brainpower, and naturally reduce your stress levels.
More Information: Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Listen to Music
Listening to music is another great way for you to reduce the amount of stress you experience each day.
A study published in Music Therapy Perspectives stated that,
“Stress is a significant risk factor in cardiac and pulmonary disease. Many health professionals, however, recognize that patients can be taught to manage their stress, thereby reducing its negative effects. Music therapy can play a part in this educational process, helping patients to learn, regain, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Try to lose yourself in some of your favorite songs for a few minutes, letting you take your mind off the stressful situation.
The melodies and lyrics of the music will make this task easier. In addition, your favorite songs are often linked to happy memories. By listening to then, you will be able to re-create some of those happier emotions.
This effect has been revealed in multiple studies, with music able to slow your heartbeat, reduce your anxiety, and reduce your blood pressure.
Write Down Everything:
Another way to handle stress is to write down the things you are stressing about, an assess them from a different perspective.
When you are able to clearly see the things in your life which are causing you stress, you might be able to put a better perspective on your situation.
Try a Gratitude Journal
In some cases, you might be able to reduce your stress levels using a gratitude journal. When you start writing down everything that is giving you stress, then you also need to write down some points what you are grateful for.
Gratitude might help you to reduce anxiety and stress by focusing your thoughts on what is positive in your life.
At the end of each day, write down some of the things that you are grateful for that day. This can be as big or small as you like. Then, when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you can go back through the journal.
This will remind you of some of the positive things that you’ve been able to experience.
In addition, the process of writing down the things you are thankful for each night will remind you to look on the bright side of life.
If you don’t have a journal you can write in, I suggest you buy one instead of trying to take your notes on your phone or computer. There is a powerful connection made when you write things down by hand. You could purchase a gratitude journal like this one:
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Take an 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.
According to the book Magnesium in the Central Nervous System,
“Magnesium status is highly associated with stress levels, with both stress and hypomagnesemia potentiating each others’ negative effects.”
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 salt 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 salt 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 salt bath for 20 minutes
- Schedule one of these 2 or 3 times a week
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Get a Massage
An effective massage is a great stress reliever for most people. 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.
As stated by a study published in Orthopedic Nursing,
“The simple act of touch-focused care, even a simple 5-min hand or foot massage, can be useful in lowering a patient’s perceived level of stress.”
Incorporating lavender, coconut, or olive oil can really accentuate your benefits as well.
See Also: Best Self Massage Tools
Spend Time with Your Family and Friends:
If you take social support from family and friends, then it can also help you to get through stressful times. When you spend time with friends, it gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth which could also help you in difficult times.
Having fun has been shown to be one of the best ways to reduce your stress levels. Doing activities that you enjoy will improve your mood. Also, if you incorporate other people into the activity, it can be a great way of building your support network.
This will allow you to discuss your experiences with other people and get their impressions. Often, they will be able to show you a perspective that you hadn’t considered before.
When choosing what activity you should complete, you should try to choose something that will allow you to laugh, which releases endorphins. Laughing has been shown to lower the amount of stress that you experience.
One of the best ways to have fun when you are stressed might be to invite your friends for a game of foosball. This will let you enjoy their company, have a fun game, and laugh. Also, by focusing on the fast-paced game, you will be able to take your mind off your stressors.
In addition, foosball is a great way to get exercise, to lower your stress levels even further. To make sure that you get the best equipment, you can use these tips on choosing the perfect home foosball table.
Try Isolation Tank Therapy
One activity that was considered to be nothing more than an indulgence associated with science fiction buffs and bio-hackers of the 60s and 70s has now become a health phenomenon because it has shown to be effective in a variety of treatments ranging from pain management, injury recovery, insomnia to managing habit disorders, eliminating stress, and improving physical and mental performance is flotation or isolation tank therapy.
The therapy which basically involves isolating an individual inside a float pod, which is sight, sound, smell, heat and gravity proof which basically deprives the average individual from all general external stimuli which gives the brain a much needed break to be able to focus on other areas of the human body which include optimization of natural chemical distribution within the body and improved circulation.
This holistic activity also promotes the release of endorphins which induces calmness internally which is critical towards eliminating mental fatigue that is largely due to the constant preoccupation of the brain with external stimuli.
According to research, the better state of mental health due to flotation therapy also boosts an individual’s immune system, their levels of creativity and positivity not to mention the fact that flotation also improves the concentration levels of an individual tremendously.
The improved state of mental and physical being of those who subject themselves to regular flotation therapy has researchers looking into what makes these sensory deprivation tanks tick with some exploring aspects of left/right brain synchronization that is augmented due to the absence of external stimuli which evidently allows the brains sudden increase in resources to shift brain frequencies from higher beta levels to lower alpha, theta and in some cases even into delta frequencies which is usually associated with mental clarity and levels of alertness not to mention the fact that in these states the brain works towards healing the body inside out.
Clinical trials have returned results that have astounded the medical community as individuals who use these sensory deprivation tanks on a regular basis show significant improvements from a variety of perspectives which include enhanced creativity levels and problem solving skills that have been associated with mental visualization techniques that are heightened during flotation therapy.
Some of these enhanced health conditions are thought to be related to the reduction in the production of cortisol, lactic acid and as well as adrenaline production whilst increasing endorphins and dopamine which is the natural ‘feel good’ drug that the brain produces.
From high performance athletes to those who have been diagnosed with arthritis sensory deprivation tanks have come full circle towards offering re-optimization of the entire human biology from almost every perspective via an affordable and less intrusive method that seems to have taken the medical world by storm.
For more on these unique devices that offer more than what one could ever expect visit the Rest House Float Centre Melbourne website.
Use a Weighted Blanket
If you are looking for a singular product to add to your life to help you deal with stress and anxiety, a weighted blanket is one of your best options without a doubt.
According to a 2016 study that was published in the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, results show that weighted blankets somewhat shifted the autonomic nervous system response among people undergoing wisdom tooth removal under local anesthesia.
Furthermore, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering,
“This study conducts a quantitative analysis of behavioral assessments and performs physiological measurements, including those of electrodermal activity and heart rate variability, to understand the modulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and the orchestration of sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous systems (PsNS). The results suggest that the activation of PsNS plays a critical role in ANS modulation. This study provides physiological evidence to support the positive clinical effects of DTP for reducing anxiety in dental environments.”
There are many weighted blankets on the market, and one of the most famous is the Rocabi queen size weighted blanket because it is durable and has a luxury design.
If you are looking for a simple solution to reduce stress and anxiety, weighted blankets are a great option!
Get an Emotional Support Animal!
Emotional support animals are not just an ordinary pet. These animals are determined by medical professionals to provide help and benefits to people with a verified and confirmed disability. For example, a blind person can be prescribed to care for a dog to assist them and essentially be the person’s eyes.
Since stress, anxiety, and depression are forms of mental disability, ESA’s can be of help too. Emotional support animals have shown to be useful for helping people to experience a better mood in the long run.
You may check out this guide on how to get an emotional support animal. Some of the basic steps may include – knowing which type of mental disability you are/may be suffering from.
This could include a physician’s diagnosis to be sure. The suggested treatment may then include adopting an emotional support animal. However, make sure also to make a proper letter stating your condition and your request to own an ESA.
It is important to legalize your ESA ownership because there is a housing policy to some properties about a “no pet” policy. This letter can be given to your landlord. Or if you are traveling elsewhere, you may need to bring your pet with you. This legal letter may allow your pet to join you in an aircraft at no additional cost.
Additional Reading: LGBT Mental Health Issues
Take a Nap!
Even a nap as short as 25 minutes has shown to have positive effects on reducing stress.