Natural Ways to Reduce Stress
It’s common to feel some level of stress and anxiety in today’s world. Driving in traffic; too much time spent staring at a computer screen; managing never ending to do lists… these are all enough to raise stress levels and feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Sometimes it can be tempting to get away from it all with a week or two somewhere tropical and away from the routine of real life, but with work and life demands this isn’t always an option. Below we’ve listed a number of practices that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, like a tool belt of natural relaxation tactics:
- Up your levels of calcium and magnesium – These minerals relax muscles and help you sleep, which is of course essential in keeping your stress levels down.
- Breathe – The stress response in the body encourages quickness of breath, so, remember to breathe! It can be as simple as noticing you’re feeling stressed, and sitting to take three full deep breaths before dealing with whatever stressful issue you have to. Try Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breath exercise next time you’re feeling anxious or need assistance falling asleep.
- Eat a healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids – These healthy fats reduce inflammation, stimulate optimal brain functioning, and improve heart health. NutriPods Originals contain all your daily vitamins and essential nutrients (including omega-3 fatty acids) in one convenient pack that you can take with you.
- Walk outside – Try getting outside for a walk in the fresh air, even if it’s for 5 minutes. Better yet, try to get as deep into nature as possible and away from the noise and stress of the city while you get your body moving. We’re lucky living here on Vancouver Island with countless hikes and walks to take advantage of, and forests that are easily accessible from Victoria. If you’re also in Victoria, check out this list of trails in the region.
- Meditate – Meditation has so many health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety. Like we mentioned with the importance of deep breathing, meditating and focusing on your breath signals the body to go into relaxation mode.
- Take a nap – Sometimes a 20 minute “power nap” can do wonders to reset your body and mental state and take you from spinning the wheels of your mind if you have a lot on your plate.
- Take a break from caffeine – Try swapping your coffee for a decaf or an herbal tea. Or if that’s too much to ask first thing in the morning, make sure you’re not drinking more than one and two cups of caffeinated coffee per day, and try not to drink caffeine in the evening to avoid altering your natural sleep cycle.
- Talk it out – Talking about whatever is stressing you out with a trusted friend can be all you need to reduce the overwhelm and feel better. If you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable sharing whatever’s going on with, try seeking out the confidential support phone lines in your area.
- Avoid processed and sugary foods – Relying on sugar to boost your energy always results in a crash (3:00 pm slump, anyone?) and doing this over and over creates a stressful environment in the body. Keep sugar and processed, refined foods to a minimum.
- Get a massage – Full body massage is one of the most effective stress relievers for body and mind. Check your work benefits plan as most cover up to a certain number of massages with Registered Massage Therapists per year.
- Use essential oils – Essential oils have been used as natural health remedies for centuries. Essential oils are extracted from flowers, leaves, bark, or roots of plants. Lavender, rose, and vetiver are some of the top essential oils to reduce anxiety. Try applying them topically on the skin, or by breathing them in using an essential oil diffuser. For a full education on the use of essential oils visit this site: Ultimate Guide to Essential Oils, or this site: Beginners Guide to Essential Oils
- Laugh! – Laughter is the ultimate natural stress-reliever. You can’t feel stressed and have a real belly laugh at the same moment, it’s impossible! When you’re feeling overwhelmed, make a point of getting together with a funny friend, or tuning into the comedy shows on Netflix to give yourself a break.
We hope applying these stress-relievers in your life helps you reduce anxiety and makes your life much less stressful and more enjoyable.