Stress is a psychological and physical reaction to demands of life. As a result of our fast-paced, high-pressured way of living, it has become increasingly common. Surveys show that more and more people experience stress at some point during the year.
Stress consists of a body’s failure to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats. Our body has an “alarm system” that makes us increase the production of adrenaline when a threat is perceived. Adrenaline fuels our capacity to response to the threat. Thus, it prepares us to be on the alert.
Our body is supposed to relax and return to a normal state when the threat is gone. However, when we are under stress, our alarm system doesn’t shut off. In the short run, stress can have a negative impact on your health, relationships, and quality of life. In the long run, high levels of stress may lead to serious health problems.
Common symptoms of stress include irritability, muscle tension, exhaustion inability to concentrate, headaches and increased heart rate.
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There is no way to avoid stress completely, but you can take simple steps and home remedies to help lower your stress levels.
The non-stop stress of modern life can easily stress you. The first thing to do is relaxing so that the stress levels start to decrease.
Meditation, yoga or tai chi is some of the most effective relaxation techniques. These activities are beneficial both for mind and body. However, there are more active ways of achieving relaxation such as walking outdoors or participating in a sports activity.
2. Do exercise
Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. In addition to keeping you fit and healthy, it can help you relax your nerves. Follow a routine to keep physically active as many days a week as you can. Take it easy at the beginning and gradually intensify the physical activity. Studies show that effectively reducing anxiety and stress with exercise only takes you 21 minutes.
When you are under stress, your muscles tend to be very tense. Stretching can help you relax by soothing your muscles.
- Roll your shoulders up and back, inhaling deeply.
- Hold for one second.
- Slowly exhale and relax your shoulders.
- Repeat the process 5 times.
4. Relax your jaw
Just like your muscles, your jaw tends to be very tense. Try this technique to relax the muscles in your jaw: drop the jaw and roll it left and right during a few seconds.
5. Breathing-relaxation technique
Tension can make breathing difficult, which can further increase stress. If you are n a stressful situation, breathing deeply and slowly can help you cool off and think more clearly.
- Breathe into the count of five. Take steady, slow abdominal breathing.
- Hold your breath for five counts.
- Exhale for five counts.
- Repeat the process once again.
6. Hot bath
Taking a hot bath can be very relaxing. It restores your blood circulation and relaxes the muscles, reducing stress. You can add 1/3 cup of baking soda to enjoy a soothing bath. For some extra stress-relief, add relaxing essential oils such as lavender oil.
A massage can reduce overall tension in your body. It relaxes tense muscles, reduces pain and improves circulation. For some extra stress-relief, add relaxing essential oils such as lavender oil.
Medicines usually relieve symptoms, but some herbs and natural ingredients can also help defeat the body’s stress response:
Chamomile provides general relaxation, relieves stress, and controls insomnia. Ingredients for chamomile tea: 1 tablespoon chamomile flowers and 1 cup of water.
- Boil water.
- When hot, steep the chamomile flowers in it.
- Pour the tea through a strainer to filter out the chamomile.
- Leave for 15 minutes.
- For nervous conditions, you can combine chamomile with equal parts of passionflower or oats.
Valerian contains sedative compounds. Thus, it is useful for anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
Green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach are the most nutrient dense food. Lettuce is particularly useful to treat stress as it has a sedative effect. Celery has a widely recognized sedative effect too. Try eating a salad with plenty of lettuce and celery for dinner.
Cherries soothe the nervous system and relieve stress. Thereby, these red fruits are perfect as a snack!
Lavender is a popular herbal treatment for anxiety, stress, depression, and stress-related headaches. It contains sedative and relaxing substances. You can use it for a body massage, as a relaxing moisturizer or massage your temples.