6 Tips To Destress Naturally
Get Rid Of The Tension Holistically
Stress is pretty much unavoidable in the modern day, especially lately. And while we all know it’s bad for us, how does it affect you, exactly? It can cause a host of issues, including everything from memory loss to depression and anxiety. While we could dive into the different types of stress and how we each have different triggers and sources of stress in our lives, learning how to deal with stress is just as helpful.
How to Deal With Stress Without Pulling Your Hair Out
Fortunately, there are some great natural methods to curb your stress, ranging from herbal formulas to aromatherapy and more. Let’s take a look at some ways you can decompress — and remember, breathe deep and relax!
1. Start With Some Basic Breathing Techniques
The whole “take a deep breath and relax” advice might come across as cliche and overdone, but there’s something to it. In fact, there are several TCM breathing exercises you can try next time you’re feeling stressed out. Here are just two to get you started:
- Alternating nostril breathing: Sit comfortably and place your trigger and middle finger between your eyebrows and your thumb and ring finger on your right and left nostril. Close one nostril with your thumb and inhale through your open nostril; then, close it and open the other nostril as you exhale. Do this slowly (around four seconds per nostril) and repeat four to six times. Concentrating on your breathing — and doing it slowly — will help you feel more relaxed.
- Lengthened exhale breathing: When you’re stressed, you may think breathing in deeply and exhaling quickly helps. The opposite is true: To get the most benefit, you should inhale deeply and exhale even slower. This helps you reduce stress. If you want some guidelines, mentally count to six as you exhale to get the most benefit.
In general, deep breathing helps decrease stress and anxiety, so it’s an excellent go-to when you’re simply feeling overwhelmed. Start with breathing if you need to destress in a pinch — you’ll feel relieved and more at ease!
2. Buy Essential Oils and Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a practice where you inhale the scent of essential oils to improve your overall well-being, but it’s commonly used as a destressor. Also known as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy may reduce:
- Circulation issues
Two common ways to take advantage of aromatherapy are to invest in a diffuser or to buy essential oil candles to permeate the air. When it comes to the type of oil you should try, lavender and bergamot are pretty popular, but there are plenty of others as well. Here’s a quick list to stir your imagination:
- Holy basil
- Sweet basil
- Ylang ylang
Each of these herbs have their own inherent health benefits, so do some research before you spend your money.
3. Take Epsom Salt or Chinese Herbal Baths
The whole idea of baths and their ability to reduce stress still holds water (pun intended). So if you enjoy a hot soak to ease your mind, you’re in luck. When it comes to stress, epsom salt baths are ideal.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, absorb through your skin and relax your muscles. They also dispel perspiration and dissolve oils that build up on your skin. If you have other essential oils, you can also add those to your bath, too.
If you want to get more experimental, then go for a Chinese herbal bath. You can try all kinds of mixtures, ranging from bladderwrack seaweed to chrysanthemum or even angelica root. Your body will absorb the nutrients, and the warmth of the water will help you decompress.
To get the most out of your bath, you’ll want to make sure you prepare it correctly. A few quick pointers to help you do just that:
- Heat your bath up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Boil your herbal mixture for 30 minutes and then pour it into your bath water
- Soak in the bath water for up to 30 minutes
4. Sip On Herbal Teas or Hot Water
Herbal teas are great for reducing stress, but there’s a lot of teas out there to choose from. For stress, here are a few you can try:
- Chamomile tea
- Mimosa flower (makes you happy)
- Lemon balm
- Licorice root (taken as an herbal tea ingredient)
- Hops (as a supplement)
- Ginseng root
If you’re not keen on drinking tea, studies show that just drinking hot water can also calm your anxiety, as it lubricates your body and calms your central nervous system.
5. Try Out Some Kava Kava Root to Calm Your Nerves
Kava is a plant native to the Pacific Islands. Historically, the root of the plant was ground up into a paste and used in religious ceremonies. But, it also has intrinsic health benefits that are known to help with stress.
Specifically, kava is known to reduce anxiety. To consume it, you grind it up into a powder and mix it with warm water. Kava is pretty bitter, so it’s a good idea to chase it with a delicious fruit juice to offset the bad taste.
If drinking it straight doesn’t appeal to you, try taking it as a capsule instead. That way, you get the health benefits without the bitterness.
6. Change Up Your Diet and Eat Stress-Reducing Foods
The foods you ingest can positively or negatively impact your mood and how you feel. To feel healthier — and as a result, less stressed out — tweak what you eat so you have a well-rounded diet.
Here are some suggestions to get you on the right path:
- Eat leafy greens. They’re rich in fiber, which may reduce anxiety, depression, and stress
- Eat more wild salmon. If you like meat, try to eat more fish! Wild salmon in particular is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and research suggests it’s a great way to reduce anxiety.
- Indulge in some dark chocolate. One study found that consuming dark chocolate twice a day actually reduced stress hormones.
- Eat more fermented foods. Studies show that fermented foods — including yogurt — may actually reduce stress and inflammation.
Of course, you should eat these in moderation and find a way to incorporate them into your daily diet. Fortunately, a lot of these natural destressors compliment one another, so it should be pretty easy to find some recipes that work for you.
Any type of exercise, from tai qi to running can reduce stress. If your brisk walk takes you through woodlands you may get the additional benefits of what the Japanese call Forest Bathing. Outdoor exercise in daylight can up your Vitamin D. Just listen to your body and exercise in moderation.
Have some other tips to reduce stress naturally? Throw your suggestions into the comments below!