Unfortunately, most of us lead hectic, challenging lives that cause us to feel stressed a lot of the time.
When we are stressed, our cortisol levels rise, which negatively affects us both physically and mentally (I’ll write a blog soon with more information about cortisol)- so what are some natural and simple ways that we can get our stress under control?
This is a natural stress buster because exercising releases chemicals in our brains which lift our mood.
An easy way to make sure you exercise is simply to add it to your daily activity by walking/cycling somewhere instead of driving, or taking the stairs instead of the escalator, so look out for ways you can do this in your day-to-day life.
Being in nature lowers cortisol and reduces feelings of stress, anger and fear, while it increases good feelings- helping you both emotionally and physically.
Connecting with people and socialising boosts brain health and helps improve mood. Choose engaging activities, such as having coffee and a chat with a friend, playing cards or a board game with your family, or going for a walk with others.
Laughter releases chemicals that promote positive feelings and decrease cortisol. So why not spend time with someone who makes you laugh, watch a funny TV show or film, or read a witty book.
Keeping A Journal
Keep track of your emotions, so you can identify what’s causing them. Perhaps you need to set boundaries in a relationship, deal with something that’s upset you, or simply do something you enjoy instead of fulfilling duties.
It’s important to identify and acknowledge negative emotions rather than bottling them up- this is a very effective way to feel better both mentally and physically.
There’s many essential oils that help relieve stress, but my favourite is Lavender. Lavender is known as a calming and relaxing herb, and helps with sleep, anxiety and stress.
Try rubbing a few drops on the palms of your hands and taking some deep breaths to help you relax. You can also add a splash of lavender oil to your bath which helps to soothe and calm you, which is especially good to do at night before going to bed.
Using a diffuser or an oil burner are other ways to benefit from the calming effects of essential oils.
Acupuncture involves inserting sterile needles into certain parts of the body, causing a production of endorphins and natural painkillers.
The treatment causes most people to feel completely relaxed, and can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress and even improve depression.
It goes without saying that what we put into our body has an effect on our health- and a good supply of nutrients in your diet helps your brain to cope better with stress.
Making sure you’re eating a balanced diet containing vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium and plenty of other nutrients is important, and avoiding unhealthy vices such as too much alcohol or caffeine is also vital to reduce stress.