Stress is an issue that affects many Americans. While some stress can help to make you more resilient, too much can harm both your mental and your physical wellbeing. In many cases, dealing with stress cannot be avoided. Everyone faces stress at work, home, and even while out running normal daily errands. Just because you feel stressed, however, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do.
Here are six natural ways that can help you to alleviate stress.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are several types of relaxation techniques that can help to promote stress relief. Meditation is one of the most well-known. The practice involves focusing on an object, visualizing, or paying attention to your breathing. Doing so can help to calm stressful, racing thoughts and promote relaxation.
Another common relaxation technique is deep breathing. Slow, controlled breathing can help to slow your heart rate, ease tension in your muscles, and reduce frustration. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, which involves focusing on a single muscle group at a time to promote relaxation.
Pay Attention to What You Eat
What you eat can play a major role in stress. Foods that are high in sugar and trans fats are the biggest culprits of making stress worse. Processed, sugary foods trigger the production of more cortisol to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Blood sugar crashes also cause you to feel tired, which can further contribute to stress. Avoid these foods when possible. Instead, choose nutrient-rich whole foods such as leafy greens, blueberries, nuts and seeds, and lean proteins.
Try an Herbal Supplement
Certain herbs contain phytochemicals that can help to alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety. One such herb is passionflower, which has been considered a folk remedy for quite some time. Studies of the herb have shown that its effectiveness is can be as effective as prescription medications used to treat anxiety. Other herbs believed to help alleviate stress include
Before you take a supplement, be sure to consult your physician. Some supplements can interact with certain medications.
Look into CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that is derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant. This compound is rich in cannabinoids, which are chemicals that can bind to certain brain receptors. CBD has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety with few to no side effects. The product is available in many forms. You can buy online CBD or you can find it in certain specialty stores.
There is often a concern that CBD supplements will produce a high. This is not the case, however. Some CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC, but those amounts are not enough to alter your mental state.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These chemicals help to boost your mood and alleviate stress. When you exercise, you also boost your immune system and eliminate excess stress hormones that might still be present. Choose a method of exercise that works for you, whether it’s going for a jog in the park, lifting weights in the gym, or taking a yoga class.
Aim for Quality Sleep
Quality sleep is vital for stress relief. It’s also the thing that most people struggle with. Poor sleep disrupts the balance of hormones in your body. When this happens, you might find yourself feeling tired during the day and unable to sleep at night. This can then result in additional stress, creating a vicious cycle.
There are things that you can do to help improve the quality of your sleep. Exercise during the day. Avoid bright screens about an hour before going to bed. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine too close to bedtime. Develop a relaxing routine. When you can improve the quality of your sleep, you can help to reduce your stress.
Facing stress is unavoidable. That doesn’t mean you have to let it destroy your wellbeing. Taking the time to relieve your stress can go a long way in improving your mood and protecting your physical health.