10 May 2017

How to Relieve Stress the Natural Way

Feeling stressed out? Who isn’t! Stop before you wolf down a whole pizza or reach for that bottle of wine. Many healthier alternatives exist that may help you cope effectively with stress.

Keep in mind that everyone is different, but one of the best and most reliable ways to stamp out stress is by engaging one or more of your senses - sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or movement. As every person is unique, you will need to find out what works for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

How to Relieve Stress the Natural Way

Do some deep abdominal breathing

What could be more natural than breathing? Yet it is easy to take it for granted. Watch your breath when you feel stressed. Be mindful of how you breathe. Is it shallow? Are you engaging all respiratory muscles when you breathe?

Harvard health experts say that shallow "chest breathing" fails to supply enough oxygen to the lungs and may make one feel anxious or short of breath.  Take a slow deep breath, and let both your chest and lower abdomen expand as you inhale. Then exhale gently. Do this a few times and notice the difference in how you feel.

Surround yourself with beauty and inspiration

Enhance your room or cubicle with things that evoke positive feelings in you. Try a cherished family photo, a vase full of flowers, a painting of a beautiful landscape, or a jar of your favorite potpourri scent. For soothing sounds, you can play your favorite music or nature soundtrack.

Make art

Are you fond of art? Try making your own. Sketch lightly on paper, write down a few verses of poetry or play with a relaxing app on your smartphone. Find a slow-paced game with pleasing graphics (Monument Valley, anyone?), play with mandala coloring pages or solve picture puzzles. Do not worry about making a masterpiece or winning a game. The point is to relax and have fun.

Do some stretches

Movement is a great stress buster. Walking and dancing can be easy and fun ways of relieving stress. You might also want to try yoga, tai chi or another form of gentle exercise if that is more your thing.

Spend time outdoors

Are you cooped up in the house or office all day long? Going outside for a while may help you reduce stress. Find a quiet place where you can enjoy pleasant, natural surroundings. Take a stroll in your garden, go for a swim or spend an afternoon at the park. Smell the fragrance of blooming flowers, feel the warm sunshine or listen to the merry chirping of birds. Challenge yourself in the great outdoors by taking up cycling or rambling.

Interact with nature

Are you a nature or animal lover? Try playing with a pet or caring for a low maintenance plant. Sometimes that touch of nature may be just what one needs to relieve stress. (Just remember that taking care of your own pet animal or house plant can in itself be a challenge!)

Drink tea

Chamomile tea is a natural remedy for stress. It is a natural sedative and can be a calming evening routine to end a stressful day.

Please note that this is for general information only. If you are severely stressed, anxious or depressed, please consult with a qualified healthcare professional.

Disclosure: Collaborative post

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