Let’s face it – everyone gets stressed from time to time; whether it’s work or relationships, it can come about very unexpectedly. Unfortunately, continuous stress can take its toll on your health – affecting all areas of life. This article will explore the aftereffects of stress and how to use natural remedies to manage it.
Move Your Body & Get the Endorphins Flowing
It’s a common notion that exercise benefits your health, but how can movement reduce stress alongside physical well-being? During physical activity, your body releases feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. They flood your mind and body with positive energy, boosting your mood and energy levels – you might have heard this described as the ‘runners high’. Regular exercise will relieve the adverse effects of stress, boosting your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems. Moving your body will improve mood, sleep and increase self-confidence.
Fight Against Loneliness with Your Furry Friend
Anecdotal evidence suggests having a pet may reduce feelings of stress, loneliness and enhance mental health. One study highlight that children with ADHD were able to focus their attention and improve social skills with the help of a dog. An additional study found autistic children felt calmer when playing with guinea pigs in a classroom setting. The study even saw anxiety levels drop and improved social engagement. Researchers suggested that the animal’s unconditional love and acceptance comforted the children. In all, the research shows that pets may be able to boost your mood by increasing serotonin levels, improve mental health and perhaps even lower blood pressure – potentially aiding stress management.
Calm the Mind with Breathwork and Meditation
Mindfulness practises such as breathwork and meditation are common stress relievers that help cultivate self-compassion and focus on the present moment. Although meditation primarily requires you to still your mind and body and concentrate on your breath, research suggests it has the potential to boost your mental and physical health. In one study, researchers assigned participants to a group randomly – breathing exercises, Mindfulness-based stress reduction, or foundations of emotional intelligence. The results showed the participants who took part in the breathing exercises had the most success as their mental health, emotions and stress levels improved.
Use CBD to Supplement Your Well-being
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an all-natural substance found in the hemp plant. Research suggests that CBD oil can benefit various health conditions, including anxiety and sleep issues, chronic pain, inflammation and many more. In particular, whether it is a CBD vape pen, tincture, capsules or edibles, many people are using CBD to complement their wellness routine and help to reduce stress.
A 2020 review compared 76 recent papers regarding the effects of CBD on stress, anxiety, depression and dementia. The authors concluded that CBD is a promising treatment, especially for mood disorders.
Try Out Journaling to Reduce Mental Clutter
Writing down your thoughts may seem trivial to some, but journaling for mental health has helped many people overcome anxiety and stress. There are many types of journaling, including gratitude and guided writing tasks. One study looked at how expressive writing impacted anxiety and found a reduction in stress and anxiety symptoms. Using this form of self-expression, you may build a better relationship with your emotions and manage your stress levels before they become overwhelming.
Use the Sweet Smells from Aromatherapy to Ease Stress
Aromatherapy is a popular practice of using different scents from essential oils to elicit a response. For instance, many people use essential oils in a diffuser to ease stress and improve sleep. A 2020 review looked at how valerian impacted sleep and anxiety. From the several studies they analysed, six showed a positive relationship between valerian reduced stress. An additional 2019 review compared 71 studies that tried lavender for anxiety. After inhaling the scent, most participants had lowered anxiety scores.
Rest & Recharge with Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to human health. In fact, a lack of sleep can lead to a myriad of problems, including reduced immunity, poor mental health, lowered sex drive, and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. With a cocktail of worries and doubts swirling in your head, it’s challenging to get to sleep when you’re stressed. While CBD may already aid stress relief, it is also a potential sleep aid too. Research suggests that CBD oil may increase sleep quality and quantity, alongside reducing racing thoughts which may keep you awake.
Enjoy a Warm Cup of Tea
Similarly to using certain scents to alter your mood, some people swear by herbal ingredients to alleviate symptoms of stress. One UK study looked at the calming effects of tea and if it changed anxiety levels. The participants self-reported feeling calmer and “looked after”. Although more research is needed to assess if various ingredients can aid stress relief, you may like to try this one yourself and weave it into a quiet morning routine.
Relaxation Techniques for Stress
Progressive muscle relaxation is a common technique to help reduce tension, headaches, insomnia and high blood pressure. To try this relaxation technique, first, find a comfortable seat. Starting with your toes and feet, squeeze these muscles individually for 5 to 10 seconds before releasing and completely relaxing them. After 10 to 20 seconds, move up to the next muscle group, such as calves and thighs. Take your time to tense each area by itself and then completely relax them. Once you’ve gone all the way up to your face, tense your entire body at once and then release it all, letting the tension leave your system. Progressive muscle relaxation is a fantastic short term stress reliever and can help reduce the physical side effects of stress.
Get Creative & Try Something New
Having an outlet for stagnant energy can help you release feelings of stress. From writing to painting, self-expression may be a vital step in releasing aggression, pain or frustration. Although stress is a common creativity killer, it can sometimes be beneficial to take a step back, step out of your routine and get creative for the fun of it – rather than work, for example.
Symptoms of stress can cause mental, emotional and physical pain, leading to severe long term health conditions. Luckily some excellent natural remedies may alleviate these symptoms, from mindfulness practices, aromatherapy and CBD for stress and sleep. It’s critical to talk to a doctor if you believe stress is stopping you from living your life – managing it early is vital to prevent it from developing into mental health or physical condition.
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