Stress is medically defined as the body’s reaction to an external or internal factor that exerts pressure on one’s optimal functioning, both mentally and emotionally. Daily life naturally, exerts pressure on just about every individual and for the most part, people are able to handle it. A problem arises, however, when this pressure surpasses one’s ability to cope, thus affecting their day-to-day routines. It is important, however, to note that different people react differently to such pressure, and what this simply means is that what is stressful for one person may be just manageable for another.
A wide array of factors cause stress, ranging from mental health matters to issues at the workplace, parenting, traumatic experiences, relationships and finances among many others. Stress manifests itself differently for the affected.Some of the common symptoms include disrupted sleep patterns, weight loss, inability to focus on concentrate at tasks on hand, lack of motivation, and in extreme cases, depression.
Stress over a prolonged period of time, leads to increased blood pressure, a poor immune system and heart disease. It is recommended that you identify the stress factors and work on them to prevent the pressure from overtaking your life. Improving your lifestyle is also a great way to handle stress. One of the ways to do this is to incorporate natural remedies that enable you to handle pressure better. Below are some of the remedies that you need to make a part of your daily life. If, and whenever stress surpasses what you can handle, make sure you seek medical intervention and/or support from loved ones.
1. Green Tea:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Green teabag and a cup of water.
Green tea is a popular remedy for stress and other related conditions that upset your emotional and mental equilibrium. This is attributed to the tea’s high concentration of potent antioxidants. The role of antioxidants in the body is to get rid of free radicals. Free radicals, by nature, cause destruction of the cells in the body, thus compounding the effects of stress on the body. By getting rid of these free radicals, the tea creates a calmness that helps you think through the stress and overall boosts your moods.
Additionally, green tea also contains a protein known as Theanine that is particularly helpful in improving your concentration and improving the body’s ability to relax. This great and easy-to-prepare stress-buster does take some getting used to, so you may want to start off with just a cup a day and work your way up to at 3 cups or so daily. A great alternative to green tea, for those who cannot stand the taste is black tea which works just as effectively.
- Boil the cup of water and pour over the teabag.
- Allow to steep for about 5 minutes and sip on this tea thrice daily.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A handful of almonds.
Almonds are a popular group of nuts, and are a great remedy for anyone who would like to address stress the natural way. Some of the reasons why almonds are recommended for this is because they are rich in key mineral elements such as Selenium, Zinc and Magnesium as well as a high concentration of healthy oils.
These properties are key in assisting the body fight off stress. Suffice to say, these nuts are pretty crunchy, and the very act of chewing them goes a long way in dissipating the stress. In addition to almonds, others that you can enjoy from the nut family include pistachios and walnuts. An added advantage of these nuts is that they are also great energy boosters that save you from emotional snacking.
- Simply snack tn the nuts in the course of the day.
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Oranges. Manual juicer (optional).
Oranges are a succulent fruit that many enjoy across the world, but what most people do not know is that these juicy fruits are great stress-busters. They are not only rich in antioxidants, they also have a high concentration of vitamins and minerals required for the optimal functioning of the body. Oranges belong to the citrus family which is known for its great source of Vitamin C.
Research shows that increased levels of Vitamin C in the body help lower the levels of stress hormones in blood circulation. The best thing about using oranges as a natural remedy for alleviating stress is that there are many different ways of use. You may eat the fruit whole (has the benefit of added fiber), juice it or add it to any of your baked dishes.
- Clean the oranges before chopping in half and indulging.
- Alternatively, juice the halved pieces and enjoy a glass of freshly-made orange juice (best taken on an empty stomach).
Time Required: 45 Min
What You Need: Chamomile teabag and a cup of water. Alternatively, use chamomile herbs, cheesecloth (or muslin) and warm bath water.
Chamomile has long been considered a great herb, thanks to its calming and soothing effects on the body. In fact, this is among the top recommended remedies for stress by herbalists globally. There are two ways in which you can benefit from chamomile; you may either take the tea or enjoy soaking in the bath water. whichever option you settle for, make it a regular part of your life to keep stress at bay.
For the Tea Preparation:
- Bring the cup of water to boil before dipping in the chamomile teabag.
- Let the teabag steep for 5 minutes before you can enjoy your tea.
Chamomile Bath Soak:
- Place the dried chamomile herbs in a cheesecloth and tie both ends so that the herbs do not seep into the water.
- Hold the wrapped herbs over the faucet and let the water run.
- Soak in this bath for half an hour to lose the tension and improve your moods.
5. Make Positive Lifestyle Changes:
Time Required: Varies depending on the changes to be made.
What You Need: A positive mindset and the willingness to change.
Part of dealing with stress is figuring out preventive measures to institute so that you are well-prepared, especially considering that stress is a common occurrence in today’s frenzied lifestyles. Make up your mind that these lifestyle changes offer you immense benefits that will improve your capacity to deal with different stress triggers and improve your mood. Listed below are some of the changes that you can make, or work on to allow for consistency.
- Enjoy the outdoors by walking, jogging or taking a light form of exercise. The purpose of doing this is to increase the concentration of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are compounds in the brain that are known to boost good mood and overall, your capacity to address stressful situations. In addition to this, nature has a subtle way of calming most people down, whether it is the fresh air, the panoramic scenery or simply the change of environment.
- Cut down on the caffeine, alcohol and sugar. The simple reason for this is that all of the three stimulate the body’s response for fight or flight, thus aggravating the symptoms of stress. These symptoms include irritability, aggression, increased heart rate and sweating among others. Additionally, you should also make a point of staying hydrated to ease the tension.
- Get a relaxing activity that you can enjoy to ease the stress and act as a form of therapy. These activities can range from physical activities such as jogging to quiet involving pastimes such as filling in Sudoku and puzzles, knitting, or indulging in art therapy. These activities are a great idea because they offer a window for a breather away from life’s hectic pace. Yoga also works for many people globally.
- Get enough rest. Sleep is recommended as a great way to combat stress. For many people, few hours of sleep only worsens stress by making one feel irritable and tense. Excessive sleep on the other hand, causes one to be slow and sluggish, which does not auger well in stressed people. The key is to find a balance between both extremes that will allow you to get enough rest. One of the best ways to do this is to create bedtime routines that will give your body cues that it is time to rest. Some of these rituals may include reading a good book, avoiding workouts at least 3 hours prior to your bedtime and taking a warm bath.
- Disconnect from the internet. One of the most profound causes of stress in today’s world is excessive internet use so that many people are incapable of detaching themselves from the virtual world. The truth about internet and gadget use is that it creates a subtle but potent channel for stress. By disconnecting, you give yourself an opportunity to live in the present and connect to the people around you. Incidentally, this real connection offers a support system that allows you to better manage stress. Most importantly, make an effort to disconnect from all screens at least one hour before bedtime. This helps reduce stress levels and prevents insomnia (one of the most common stress triggers).
- Get rid of clutter, both mental and physical. Clutter has a way of stealing your sense of control, thus adding onto the stress. Make an effort to prepare to-do lists, create a schedule around your work as well as mark your calendar well ahead of time. Physical clutter simply needs you to clean up and get rid of all the stuff that you do not need. Research shows that the sight of clutter is enough to cause tension in most people, so make sure you tidy up!
- Meditation is also recommended for you to deal with stress, regardless of how tight your schedule is. All you need is a comfortable quiet place and your own mind. Meditating, even for just 10 minutes, goes a long way in releasing the stress and allowing you clarity of mind on the way forward.
8. Alternatively, enjoy a relaxing massage to ease the tension that accompanies stress as well as enhance proper blood circulation.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Choice essential oils such as Lavender, chamomile, rosemary and cypress oils.
Aromatherapy presents an excellent choice for treating stress. Specific aromas are known to improve one’s mood and assist with better concentration and focus. According to research on aromatherapy, it is known that this works as a remedy because it stimulates the brain to release chemicals that enhance calmness and relaxation. Some of the most popular oils include Lavender, Chamomile and Cypress.
- Enjoy aromatherapy using your preferred oils to effectively deal with life’s stress.
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Dried passionflower, a cup of hot water and a strainer.
Passionflower is best known for its role in managing anxiety, but recent studies show that this remedy may work just as well in treating stress. It is believed that passionflower provides these benefits by increasing the concentration of certain brain chemicals, allowing you to feel more relaxed and at ease. In addition to the passionflower tea, other forms of the remedy available include infusions and tinctures.
- Place the dried passionflower in a cup and pour the hot water over it.
- Let the dried flower steep for about 10 minutes and pass through the strainer.
- Sip on the passionflower tea slowly to manage stress levels.
- Take at least 2 cups daily.
NOTE: It is important to get a medical appointment prior to using this remedy, particularly if you are on medication for the treatment of any other condition.
Other remedies that you can use daily include spinach which has a high concentration of minerals and vitamins, salmon whose omega-3 fats help manage the levels of stress hormones in the body as well as avocados.