Six Stress Busters

Six Stress Busters

Stress is a fact of life. We all have it—good and bad—and it can be a positive force for change or it can wreck havoc on your physical and emotional health. It’s sometimes impossible to get rid of stress completely due to the events of our lives, but managing the outcome is in your control. Tested methods of exercise and fresh air aside, here are some additional unique and easy ways, originally seen on Health.com, to try to reduce the effects of stress on your life.

Lavender. An herb known for its fragrance, the soothing effects of lavender can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Hang a bundle of these beauties near your bed or try a fabric spray and then lie down and close your eyes. Relax.

Chocolate covered fruit. Permission to eat chocolate? In reasonable amounts a bit of the sweet stuff—in particular dark chocolate—has been known to reduce cortisol, the stress-related hormone. Plus a treat like this makes us happy and since it’s not loaded with fats, oils, and processed sugar, it’s nothing to be guilty about. Much better than grabbing that bag of potato chips or cookies.

Take a bath. One of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself. Add lavender to the water and you’re doubling your stress-reducers!

Massage. This can be an expensive endeavor, but it is well worth it. Massage improves circulation and helps you keep calm. Likewise foot or scalp massages are wonderful. It may not feel as good as when your stylist does it, but a scalp massage is so relaxing it’s worth the try. Or maybe a friend or partner can wash your hair for you. Not only will it help you relax, but it can be a bonding experience.

Chamomile. This herb acts like natural valium and you can brew a cup of tea or take supplements to reduce anxiety.

Sauna. If you have access to one, a sauna is a wonderful way to warm up and chill out. Muscles relax, the mind relaxes. Two for one deal!

Don’t consider these techniques luxuries or selfish indulgences. Any natural solution to mental health is well worth the effort before relying on medications or worse, alcohol or smoking. All of these ideas are certainly worth a try and, if you choose, many can be shared with a loved one, which may boost the relaxing effects.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Be sure to consult a professional for individual counseling.

J.M. Cooper / Pazoo

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