Natural Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress can be a symptom of many mental health problems and can often be difficult to manage, thankfully there are ways you can manage stress at home before turning to medication.
Unfortunately, a high proportion of adults report feeling stress at some point, and it is often not taken as seriously as it should do. It can cause a lot of physical changes in the body, that are designed to help you take on threats or difficulties. You might find that around these times, your heart pounds, and your breathing becomes quicker. You might also feel your muscles tense, and you can begin to sweat. Normally though, once this treat or difficulty passes, the physical effects will likely fade. However; if you are constantly feeling stressed, your body will stay in a high state of alertness, which can come with other symptoms as well.
Constant stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically, and can also change your behaviour. Common symptoms include; feeling overwhelmed, feeling irritable, anxious or even fearful. You may feel yourself lacking in self esteem, you might also have racing thoughts, or be constantly worrying about something, have difficulty concentrating, or difficulty in making decisions. You could experience headaches, muscle pain, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or feeling tired all of the time, eating too much or too little, smoking or drinking more, snapping at people, or avoiding situations or people altogether.
If this is becoming overwhelming, and is impacting on your daily life in a major way, it is important that you visit your doctor, who can discuss your symptoms in more detail, and come up with the best treatment plan for you. There are also a lot of natural treatments that you can try as well, including making some simple lifestyle changes at home.
Below are just some simple tips that can help you manage your stress levels naturally.
When you are feeling stressed, exercise is one of the most important things that you should be doing. Although it seems odd, but putting physical stress on your body, through exercise can help to relieve any mental stress that you are suffering with.
For this to be really effective though, you have to be exercising regularly. Research backs this up as well, and shows that people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety compared with those who do not exercise at all.
Find something that you enjoy doing, whether it is walking, dancing, running, yoga or even rock climbing, as you will be much more likely to stick to it.
Light a candle:
Burning a candle that contains essential oils can be really effective at helping you to relax, and destress. Some scents can be very soothing, such as lavender, rose, vetiver, bergamot, roman chamomile, neroli, frankincense, sandalwood, ylang ylang, orange blossom, and geranium.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy is very effective at decreasing anxiety, and helping to improve sleep, which can all help to reduce your stress levels.
Reduce your caffeine intake:
It comes as no surprise when we say that caffeine is a stimulant; but it can also cause stress and anxiety when taken in high doses, although this amount will vary from person to person. If you notice that a lot of caffeine can make you jittery, or increase your anxiety levels, it might be worth cutting back.
This is often contradicting to a lot of research, as a number of studies show that coffee, which as we all know contains caffeine, is good for us, when used in moderation; however, the truth is that it is not for everyone, and everyone can tolerate different levels. Fewer than five cups a day is normally considered to be a moderate amount.
Spend time with loved ones:
Often when we are feeling very stressed, we might avoid socialising, but actually having the support from your friends and family can help you cope with stress levels. This is because it gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth.
Studies have shown that both men and women benefit from friendship, suggesting that those who had fewer social connections were much more likely to suffer from depression, stress and anxiety.
Learn to say no:
More often than not, stress is caused by being too busy, and trying to fit in too much, without having the time to do it. Instead, take control of the parts of your life that you can change, and if something is causing you stress, simply step away from it and learn to say no.
Try and be selective about what you take on, and do not agree to unnecessary things that will simply add to your already full load, and you will automatically feel your stress levels reduce.
Cuddling, kissing, hugging and sex are all great stress relievers. This is because physical contact that is positive, can help to release oxytocin and lower cortisol, which can then help to lower blood pressure and your heart rate, which are all physical symptoms of stress.
Research has suggested, that chimpanzees also cuddle in order to relieve stress.
Spend time with your pet:
Research has suggested that having a pet can actually help to reduce stress and also improve your mood. In fact, interacting and spending time with your pet can help to release oxytocin, which is the chemical that promotes a positive mood.
The reason behind this is because it gives you a purpose, keeps you active, and provides companionships, which all help to reduce stress and anxiety.