Stress happens to the best of us. A bad day at work or kids playing up all cause short-term stress, but if your relationship is imploding or you have recently suffered bereavement, stress is probably a big part of your life right now. In short bursts, stress is good for us, but exposure to long-term stress is seriously bad for our health. It can cause insomnia, depression, heart disease, and even death. Luckily, there are many natural ways to reduce stress without resorting to popping pills.
Massage therapy is very effective for stress relief. By the time your body has been pummeled into submission, your muscles will feel like jelly and all tension has left the room. Many people find that stress causes stiffness in and around the neck and shoulder area. A good massage will alleviate this tension and relieve any aches and pains you are experiencing.
Run a hot bath and add some essential doTERRA oils. Chamomile oil and lavender oil are known for their relaxing properties. Lavender has very mild narcotic properties, so a few drops on your pillowcase before bed should also help you to sleep.
A nice cup of herbal tea is soothing and guaranteed to help you relax. If you are having a tough morning at the office, skip the coffee and make a mug of chamomile tea. Compounds in chamomile tea have the same effect as Valium. Chamomile is great for people with anxiety and stress; you can also take it as a natural supplement if you don’t like chamomile tea.
Exercise is good for the mind and body. Hard exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which is why we get such a buzz from strenuous exercise. Choose a sport you enjoy and work out your frustrations. A few weeks pounding the sidewalks will give you a killer body and help you deal with stress far more effectively than a bottle of wine.
Mindfulness is all the rage right now, but it is very effective for anyone suffering from stress. Once you learn to practice mindfulness meditation, you won’t be sucked down into an endless cycle of “what if…” Instead, you can focus on the here and now. It is far more relaxing.
Yoga taps into the same principles as mindfulness meditation and many yoga enthusiasts do both at the same time. Yoga teaches you how to breathe properly. By concentrating on each breath, you become more at one with your body. Stress and anxiety will float away and you will soon begin to relax.
Don’t underestimate the power of sex as a relaxation aid and mood enhancer. You may not feel like having sex after a terrible day, but the physical release of sex is guaranteed to make you feel less stressed. In fact, combine massage with sex and you get a double whammy of stress release! Long-term stress is very bad for you, so if you are struggling with physical symptoms, deal with the source of your stress, even if it means making some major life changes.