We all face stresses throughout the day, from our morning commutes to pressures from our bosses to taking care of family dinners. Many people think that stress is harmful to our health, but in reality, it is how we deal with stress that can improve or detract from our quality of life.
Handling stress in holistic and natural ways can help you find peace and competently manage your daily expectations. Let’s look at natural ways to fight stress and live our happiest and healthiest lives.
1 Turn to Meditation and Mindfulness
One holistic way to manage your stress is meditation. The conventional view of meditation might include sitting cross-legged on the floor with incense burning and your humming “om,” but there are countless ways to practice meditation. Try the following exercises the next time you’re feeling stressed:
- Go to a quiet room and take ten deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Do a guided meditation on YouTube. There are videos that range from 10 minutes to a few hours, so there’s no reason why you can’t fit a short meditation session into your day.
- Download a meditation app on your phone to make meditation easy. There are countless apps, such as Calm and Headspace, that make it easy to de-stress, right from your smartphone. These apps often offer free and paid versions, so choose the meditation level that is right for you.
In addition to meditation, mindfulness is a powerful practice that can help center your worrying thoughts. Mindfulness is simply being in the here and now and only thinking about what’s right in front of you. Many of our stressors come from the “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve”s of the past, and worrying about the future.
By focusing on the “now,” you can slow these racing thoughts and focus on what you need to accomplish in the present moment. A famous mindfulness idiom is: are you mind-full or mindful? Meaning, is your brain cluttered with all kinds of thoughts, making it full to capacity? Or are you mindful, meaning you are only focused on what’s in front of you right now? This shift in perspective will help you de-stress naturally.
2 Try Herbal Remedies
Talk to your doctor before engaging in any herbal stress-relief remedies, but these choices are natural, holistic, and good for you! Simple things like a warm cup of chamomile tea can relax you before bed and help you get a good night’s sleep, thus reducing the next day’s stress. Aromatherapy is also a great way to de-stress naturally. Essential oils like lavender, rosewood, and frankincense have all been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. You can put these oils in a diffuser, light a scented candle, have massage using the oils, or even ingest them. Even more, combine aromatherapy with the above meditation techniques for a comprehensive stress relief session.
3 Say No to Harmful Stress-Relievers
Too often, we turn to harmful things that we think will relieve our stress, like unhealthy eating, sweets, drugs, or alcohol. But mixing alcohol and medication, overeating, or binge drinking can be harmful to our health and will, in turn, make the situation worse. Numbing thoughts of stress in the short-term using these vices may work for a bit, but they can cause many harmful side effects, including:
- Increased stress and anxiety
- Major weight loss or gain
- Loss of interest in hobbies or social interactions
- Addiction and abuse
As you can see, holistic ways to manage stress are much more effective, and healthy, than harmful substances. Stress is healthy, as long as you know how to handle it. By finding your own natural stress relief techniques, you can take on anything life throws your way.