As stress seems to take up such a huge portion of our lives, it’s no surprise that 44% of the American population cited that their stress level has increased in the last 5 years. Obviously, that’s not healthy, but with lifestyle becoming faster and faster and demands are increasing, I can’t see a way out of it.
How to Reduce Stress
That doesn’t mean we can’t reduce stress. There are some obvious ways on how to reduce stress like massages, sleeping better, disconnecting. If you’ve tried all of these with little to no success, you mat want to check out these methods below and give them a go.
Several supplements reduce stress and anxiety. Some of the common ones are:
- Lemon balm comes from the mint family and has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects.
- Omega-3 supplements experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms.
- Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and anxiety.
- Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants that may lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels.
- Valerian root is a sleep aid thanks to its tranquilizing effect. Its valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to lower anxiety.
- Kava kava is a psychoactive member of the pepper family that’s been used as a sedative to treat mild stress and anxiety.
- B vitamins promote proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, help induce relaxation and fight fatigue. Get them from the germ and bran of cereal grains, beans, peas, nuts, liver, eggs and dairy products.
- Passionflower is great anxiety and insomnia and may be comparable to benzodiazepine drugs used to treat stress. It increases levels of GABA lowering the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.
Healing crystals help soothe and heal your mind, body and spirit. There are many calming crystals for anxiety and stress relief. Experimenting with different ones to find the that’s right for you is important.
Lepidolite is one of the most effective ones since it contains lithium which is often used in anti-anxiety medication. During times of stress and chaos. It is especially wonderful to use during meditation to bring comfort and harmony.
Feeling overwhelmed with worry and fear, reach for the Black tourmaline and visualize crushing your fears, relieving your anxiety.
Other healing crystals that can help are jet stones that release negative emotions. Danburite brings you comfort in stressful times, and rid your body, mind and aura of anxiety and stress. Shungrite relieves anxiety as well as insomnia. It detoxifies and purifies your body, getting rid of negative energies.
Exercise is equivalent to meditation giving you time alone with your thoughts and fights stress.
If you exercise regularly, you’re less likely to experience anxiety as it:
- releases endorphins to improve your mood and prevents several health problems
- lowers cortisol, the stress hormone
- improves your sleep quality
- promotes confidence and mental wellbeing.
Find an exercise routine you like that you can stick with.
Inhaling certain scents can have immediate stress relief effects by raising the mood, reducing anxiety an improving your concentration. Experts say it’s because the smells stimulate the limbic system, releasing chemicals that affect the brain. This in turn promotes feelings of relaxation, calmness, love and excitement.
Some of the popular oils that help relief stress are lavender, cypress and rosemary.
It’s been proven that junk food can make you depressed. Healthy foods like can improve your mood and give you energy during the day. Try blueberries, salmon and almonds, as according to scientists, they are stress busters.
Also, put down that extra cup of coffee. While studies have shown that some coffee during the day can offer health benefits, too much caffeine will make you jittery and anxious, and eventually lead to a crash.
Meditation, or mindfulness is possible even in a full schedule. It only takes 15-30 minutes and all you need is your mind. Just give yourself some silent time to let your thoughts run free or just focus on your breathing. That small amount of peace in your day can help you deal with or even release stress.
Apparently chewing gum can reduce cortisol levels, alleviating stress. People who chewed gum had a greater sense of wellbeing and lower stress. Chewing gum causes brain waves similar to those of relaxed people. It promotes blood flow to your brain and is greatest when people chewed more strongly.
This technique helps to ease anxiety and reduce stress:
- Go into a quiet room with no distractions and lay or sit in a relaxing position.
- Visualize a relaxing scene and block all thoughts and try to capture the moment as you imagine the sounds, smells, textures, and feelings you experienced.
- Take your breathing into consideration, breathe slowly from your abdomen, inhaling to the count of 5, holding for 3 seconds, and then exhaling to the count of 5.
- Stay focussed and don’t let anything interupt you.
Mentally go around the muscle groups in your body, first tensing then release each one. When you become anxious and muscles are tensing, practice this method. Once the body is relaxed, the mind will follow.
Hug, Kiss, Cuddle
Hugging may reduce blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels. Kissing releases chemicals that ease cortisol. Positive physical contact helps release oxytocin and lower cortisol.
The Gist of it
There are many easy and inexpensive ways as to how to reduce stress and anxiety. Sleeping, deep breathing and massages are all great but couple them with healing crystals, aromatherapy or anything that suits your lifestyle.
You can also reach out to a therapist online to help you destress. What ideas do you have to get you to reduce stress?
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