Natural Stress Reduction Techniques

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Too much stress can be downright dangerous for you, thus it is important you adopt stress reduction measures that simply and effectively beat stress every day. Stress isn’t just a nuisance. Our bodies react to stress by producing hormones that raise our heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety. When confronted by major stressors, our bodies kick into ‘fight or flight’ response mode. That means we hyper react to the situation around us.

Stress has many long-term effects as well. Too much chronic stress can cause you to gain weight. It can also result in insomnia, fatigue and negativity. The first step toward defeating stress is identifying the chief stressors in your life. There are always unexpected stresses we can’t account for. Then there are the everyday things that cause us stress. It may be work hours that are too long, too little personal time, tight deadlines. Stress triggers are different for every person. While you can’t always minimize the things causing stress, you can take steps to feel less stressed despite your circumstances.

Natural Stress Relief Techniques
Whether you are a working mom, a stay-at-home parent, a student or a busy entrepreneur, stress will somehow find its way into your life at some point or another. Fortunately there are several easy techniques you can adopt to relieve stress quickly and easily.

1. Leave your troubles at the bedside, don’t bring them to bed with you. How many times have you lain awake at night replaying the day’s events? Even worse, how often do you worry about problems, whether work related, family related or personal issues as soon as your head hits the pillow? Far too often we bring our troubles with us to bed. Here’s a fact you need to recognize. You won’t solve all your troubles in the middle of the night. Even if you do come up with a brilliant idea, you won’t be able to do anything about it until the next morning. Whatever it is you need to take care of will still be there in the morning. It’s not worth stressing about and losing a good nights sleep.

2. In moments of stress, think about something positive. We overwhelm ourselves with negative thoughts during high stress periods. If you feel particularly anxious or stressed, take a moment to close your eyes, count to ten and picture something calming. It may be the picture of your baby sleeping peacefully, or a snapshot of your favorite beach or other vacation spot. Allow your thoughts to wander if momentarily to a happy place. This will help reduce your anxiety so you can conquer the task ahead.

3. Organize your life. Disorganization can cause more headaches and stress than its worth. If you have a messy desk, take 20 minutes to organize it. This will save you 20 minutes of stress and anxiety when you are looking for an important letter or pen to write with.

4. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. How can your diet affect your stress level? Believe it or not, improper eating can cause your body to become physically stressed, which can lead to emotional stress.

5. Get plenty of exercise. You can get out your anger, frustration and stress simply by working out vigorously once or twice every week.

6. Use essential oils. There are many essential oils you can use in your bath, shower or even spray in your room to help relax you. Some examples include lavender, lemon, cinnamon, vanilla and clove.

7. Appoint a room or a spot in your home as your stress relief sanctuary. It may be a corner of your bedroom, your bathroom, your garden or even an entire living area. Fill this area with stress relieving plants, pictures, flowers or other objects that fill you with peace. When you have an excessively stressful day, commit to spending at least 10 minutes in your stress sanctuary relaxing. Don’t call people on the phone, don’t watch TV. Just sit and enjoy a moment of solitude. If you have children, you may have to wait until they go to bed or wake up a little early. If they are old enough you can simply let them know you are not to be bothered while in your ‘sanctuary.’

Last but not least, even in the worst of times, remember to breath… and laugh. Laughter makes the world go around and around. Just smiling often improves the direst of situations. As the saying goes, “laugh and the world laughs with you.” Laughter truly is a powerful medicine. Remember, life is too short to worry about every little thing. Take a moment or two out of each day to relax and enjoy just being. We only get one shot at this life, we might as well make the best of it.