According to the Global Organization for Stress, 75% of adults report experiencing moderate to high levels of stress each month.
With huge workloads, insufficient paychecks, busy lifestyles, high cost of living, and poor quality of life, stress has become part and parcel of our lives.
Does that mean you have to be at its mercy? Absolutely not!
Minimizing stress levels is possible and essential. If you don’t manage your stress, it can quickly lead to chronic stress which can physically manifest in the body. It can even increase your risk of heart disease!
8 Natural Ways to De-stress
Here are some evidence-based ways to get natural stress relief. They’re safe to practice and can be paired with conventional treatment methods.
1. Take Natural Supplements
When it comes to tackling stress, you need a healthy body which is why you must first address any nutritional deficiencies. Your body needs several key vitamins and minerals to thrive. If you have a nutrient deficiency, you may be more prone to experience higher levels of stress, low or bad mood, and irritability.
There are also several herbs and mushrooms that are known as adaptogens. Adaptogens work by aiding the body's natural ability to adapt to stress. Some of the best adaptogens for stress include rhodiola, reishi, schisandra, and ashwagandha.
So, if you want to improve your mood and stress levels, natural botanical blends and minerals can help you manage them better.
2. Clock in Some Exercise
Research shows that exercise reduces the levels of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) while increasing the production of feel-good chemicals like endorphins. As a result, exercise promotes a better mood, makes you feel optimistic, and gives you better sleep.
Any form of exercise will work, so you can pick whatever you’re comfortable with. If you enjoy taking walks, playing tennis, or swimming, you can engage in them to reduce your overall stress. You don’t have to be an athlete. You only need to be committed to exercising regularly.
3. Learn to Say “No”
Do you say “yes” to activities and people you don’t have time for? If you do, you may be overwhelmed and stressed due to your inability to say no.
So, if you want to reduce your stressors, start by setting healthy boundaries. Know that sometimes it’s necessary, and completely ok, to put your needs first.
When you start saying “no” to things that don’t add value to your life, you’ll be at peace knowing that you’re doing it with a purpose.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability to stay grounded in the present. More than 200 studies on mindfulness came to a common conclusion: it reduces stress. Not only that, but it could also reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, effectively keeping you from developing mental issues that are caused or aggravated by stress.
So, try tapping into its many benefits. Visit a yoga center and see if you can join a few classes. When you engage in mindfulness exercises, don’t forget to put your phone on silent and stay off the grid since disturbances can reduce the positive effects of the experience.
Alternatively, you could find a therapist trained in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for more personalized care and relevant results.
5. Indulge in Self-Care
Self-care can relieve stress, so be sure to make time for it in your busy life!
Some ways you can practice self-care include:
- Draw a bubble bath and pair it with aromatherapy. It will brighten your mood and support the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Get a massage. It can reduce physical and psychological stress.
- Get enough sleep to reduce the release of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Hang out with people who are optimistic and make you feel good.
- Read self-help books.
- Train your mind to focus on things you’re grateful for and see only the positives, even when the negatives are glaringly obvious.
- Laugh more. Laughter can increase your levels of endorphins, blood flow, and intake of oxygen-rich air, among other benefits.
- Try journaling to help with self-awareness. You’ll feel more empowered to address things you need to change and be grateful for the good in your life.
When you do more of what you love, you’ll find that it can drastically reduce your stress levels while improving your quality of life.
6. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
The natural effects of caffeine, a chemical found in your everyday cup of coffee, can mimic the feelings associated with anxiety when consumed in excess. It can also activate the stress axis, elevate your cortisol levels, and affect your sleep quality and schedule.
Hence, limit your consumption to no more than 400 milligrams a day. If you take more than that, you could risk a range of health concerns.
7. Spend Time in Nature
Time spent in nature can lower your stress levels by causing a drop in cortisol.
You can take a walk in the park, challenge yourself with a hike, or try camping and gardening. You’ll be surprised at the difference some fresh air and sunshine can have on your body and mental health.
8. Try Breathing Exercises
Stress can activate your sympathetic nervous system, sending your body into fight-or-flight mode. When that happens, you experience:
- Increased heart rate
- Changes in oxygen and blood circulation to different body parts and the brain
- Faster breathing
- Pale or flushed skin
- Dilation of pupils
Breathing exercises can be helpful in curbing these unpleasant effects. These exercises help you calm the body and mind and think more clearly. In addition, they can reduce the stress levels in your body which will have a positive effect on your overall health and quality of life.
Stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health, but it can be mitigated. With the methods we’ve mentioned above, you can de-stress more easily and be more intentional about it. Make sure to pair them with natural supplements for stress relief so your body has the resources it needs to manage and recover from stress.