Indeed, life is stressful. Work deadlines, family responsibilities, health issues, and financial pressures can all contribute to feeling stressed out.
When anxiety takes hold, it can wreak havoc on both your mental and physical health. Headaches, muscle tension, irritability, lack of concentration, fatigue, and even depression can occur. But you don’t have to reach for prescription medication to calm your nerves.
There are many natural stress relievers that can promote relaxation, ease tension, and soothe your mind. With some simple lifestyle adjustments and stress management techniques, you can say goodbye to anxiety. Read on to learn more.
● Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathing is believed to be among the fastest ways to eliminate stress. When anxious, your breaths become rapid and shallow, which activates the body’s fight-or-flight response. Deep breathing prompts the opposite response, tapping into the relaxation response. The next time you feel overwhelmed, try this breathing method:
− Breath in air slowly via your nostrils, letting your stomach to grow larger for a count of four.
− Hold that breath for a count of two.
− Slowly breathe out air via the mouth for a count of six.
− Repeat for several minutes until calm.
You can also try equal breathing: inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts. This breathing retrains the body to be calm, lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
● Use Guided Imagery And Visualization
Your mind can ease stress when you direct it to imagine calming scenes. Guided imagery leverages visualization to take a mental vacation, letting tranquil scenes overwrite anxious thoughts. Close your eyes, take steady breaths, and envision:
− Walking on an empty beach, with waves lapping the shore.
− Strolling through a lush forest, dappled in sunlight.
− Laying in a wildflower meadow, with butterflies fluttering by.
− Cozying up to the fireplace, its warmth seeping into your bones.
− Pick images that resonate relaxation and serenity. This visualization lets your mind escape and recalibrates worries.
It’s said that when one is calm, they can get better sleep quality and more rest. Check out helpful links such as https://jacksonhousecares.com/blog/posts/2023/october/sleep-and-mental-health/ to discover the connection between sleep and mental wellbeing.
● Try Restorative Yoga Poses
Yoga’s slow movements blend physical activity with mindful presence – an ideal stress-busting combination. Yoga releases muscle tension while the emphasis on matching breath with movement forces you into the present moment, releasing distracting thoughts. Beginner yoga teaches poses like child’s pose, cat-cow, downward dog, and so on to build mind-body awareness.
Follow 10-20 minute YouTube yoga videos daily. Restorative flows like yin, gentle hatha or bedtime yoga work best for anxiety and stress. Investing in a yoga mat makes it easy to find zen. Mindful movement alleviates the weight of a stressful day.
● Establish A Meditation Practice
Research confirms meditation reduces anxiety, depression, and pain. By training your mind to stay focused on the present – often the breath – worries about the future naturally fall away. Starting a meditation practice takes commitment, but benefits like lower blood pressure, decreased tension, and increased mindfulness make it worthwhile.
Begin meditating in five to 10 minute increments. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, take deep breaths, and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling sensations. Guided meditations provide instructions to sharpen awareness. Over time, achieve longer meditations with less distraction.
● Sip Calming Herbal Tea Drinks
Sipping relaxing herbal teas can gently and naturally melt away the tensions of your day. Chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, valerian root, and kava teas interact with GABA receptors, quieting anxiety. Brew a hot cup when feeling frazzled. Other calming teas include peppermint, rose, or jasmine. Keep a variety on hand so you can customize based on your mood.
● Diffuse Soothing Essential Oils
Inhaling calming essential oils promotes tranquility. Certain scents are particularly stress-relieving, like lavender, bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, and sweet orange. Diffuse these oils, add to a warm bath, or apply topically. You can also rub oils directly onto pressure points like wrists, temples, and neck. Aromatherapy’s pleasant scents calm the mind.
● Establish Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Making positive lifestyle changes builds resilience against stress. Get seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night. Exercise for 30 minutes daily to release endorphins through activities like jogging, cycling, or swimming. Limit caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen anxiety. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet to stabilize energy and mood. Take quiet breaks to decompress: sip tea, take a short walk, or read an uplifting book. Healthy routines safeguard wellbeing.
● Set A Nightly Unwinding Ritual
Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to transition from a stressful day into restful sleep. Turn off all screens one hour before bed. Take a warm bath or shower. Do gentle stretching. Practice deep breathing. Diffuse a calming essential oil like lavender or frankincense.
Sip chamomile or passionflower tea. Write in a gratitude journal. Light candles. Listen to soothing music or read an inspiring book. Guide your mind into relaxation.
● Surround Yourself With Nature’s Peace
Spending time in nature is profoundly healing. The sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors have relaxing effects. Take a stroll through the woods, sit near a lake or ocean, plant a garden, or spend time with animals. Unplug and allow your senses to bathe in the outdoors. Gardens, parks, and hiking trails offer easy access to nature’s therapy.
● Let Go Of Perfectionism
Trying to control everything and placing unrealistic expectations on yourself is a surefire recipe for anxiety. Perfectionism sucks the joy out of life. Hence, practice self-compassion and give yourself permission to be human. You don’t have to be or do it all.
Simplify obligations and relinquish activities that bring more stress than joy. Allow things to unfold naturally rather than forcing outcomes.
● Laugh Out Loud To Lighten Your Mood
Laughter really is great medicine when it comes to relieving stress. It’s said that humor reduces cortisol and releases endorphins that improve your mood and outlook on life.
Seek out uplifting comedy movies and shows, funny videos, amusing blogs, or standup comedy routines. Surround yourself with people who make you smile. Let go of inhibitions and give yourself permission to laugh out loud frequently. Don’t take life too seriously.
● Listen To Soothing And Uplifting Music
Music has remarkable effects on your mind and emotions. Calming instrumental or classical music slows pulse and breathing, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes brainwave patterns – perfect for unwinding.
Singing bowls, nature sounds, and piano pieces also have stress-relieving benefits. Or opt for tunes with positive lyrics that make you feel happy and hopeful. Create playlists for different moods and keep headphones on hand.
● Cultivate Meaningful Social Connections
Positive social ties are vital for health. Close friendships help buffer the effects of stress. Share laughter, conversation, hobbies and activities with people who uplift you. Volunteer with a cause that inspires you. Feeling connected combats anxiety and loneliness. Have lunch with a good friend, join a club, attend a meetup – meaningful social bonds make life enjoyable.
Stress will always arise. But natural stress relievers like deep breathing, visualization, yoga, meditation, teas, essential oils, healthy habits, nature, and so on can calm your mind. With consistency, these proven techniques offer freedom from stress’s stranglehold. Why not start crafting your customized stress relief toolkit today? Your mind and body will surely thank you.