Stress can affect your lifestyle and it can cause health-related problems later on in your life. When you are stressed, some critical areas in your brain which is responsible for memory are susceptible to getting damaged by stress hormones.
Stress hormones are released by your body during highly stressful situations and they can cause your cells to age, making you look older. In severe cases, stress can cause diabetes and heart disease which can lead to death.
Knowing how to handle stressful events in your life is key to maintaining your stress level. Stress relief is essential in keeping a healthy mind and body. There are many methods of relieving stress such as taking medications but the safest way is to use natural stress relief options.
Read on to find out more about the best natural stress relief options that can help you relax. These natural stress relief options can have different results depending on the person, so choose what works best for you.
How To Reduce Stress: 11 Natural Stress Relief Options
Aromatherapy relieves stress by using scents that can calm you down. Aromatherapy uses essential oils extracted from plants. These essential oils are the main ingredients used to reduce stress. The scent of essential oils sends messages to the olfactory receptors in your nose, thus soothing your anxiety.
The olfactory receptors are linked to the limbic system in your brain which controls your emotions. Aromatherapy effectively reduces stress by stimulating some chemicals in your brain which makes you feel more relaxed.
No other natural stress relief options can be more rewarding than taking care of your pet animals and treating them like they are one of your closest friends or even family members. Interacting with your pet after a busy day at work greatly lowers your stress levels. You will get better results in relieving your stress by spending more time bonding with your pet. The most common pets for stress relief are dogs but you can also try other pets that you like such as fish or a cat.
Playing with your pet is one of the best methods for stress relief because it lowers your blood pressure, thus slowing down the production of your body’s stress hormone called cortisol which is linked to anxiety and depression. Spending some time with your pet can also increase your body’s production of a hormone known as oxytocin which is associated with relaxation and happiness.
Believe it or not, playing games is a nice way to relieve stress. Video games are not only for kids anymore; there are even some adults and the elderly who are advised by healthcare professionals to play video games for stress relief.
Playing video games offers other health benefits such as improved decision-making skills and enhanced motor skills. Video games reduce stress by providing you a new way to focus your mind to a more relaxing environment and distracting you from the hassles of your usual stressful day at work.
Take note that not all games are designed to relieve stress, though. There are some video games that can even make you more stressed. It’s easy to spot a game for stress relief. These games can be easily played and have no complicated tutorials. Some of the most popular video games for stress relief include Bejewelled and Candy Crush. If you want a little bit of action and something more realistic, you can also try Call of Duty and Madden.
Music is not just for entertainment purposes. It is also one of the most powerful natural stress relief options that you can easily do and enjoy without much effort. Music is connected with your emotions and can effectively reduce your stress.
The type of music you want to listen to depends on your mood but the best music for stress relief is classical music, according to experts. If you are not used to listening to classical music, it might take some time before you can truly appreciate this genre of sound.
Listening to classical music can soothe your body and mind. Classical music has a positive effect on how your body functions. It slows down your heart rate, reduces your blood pressure, and decreases the number of stress hormones in your body, which makes you feel more relaxed.
It is difficult to actively listen to any music when you are stressed. You might think that you are just wasting your time and not achieving your goals. But give listening to classical music a try — once your stress is reduced, your productivity increases and you will be able to function more effectively.
Hypnosis is one of the natural stress relief options that involve altering your consciousness to reduce stress. It’s a safe method with lasting effects and you won’t experience any harmful side effects associated by taking medications. You can learn how to do self-hypnosis on your own or with the help of a professional. Hypnosis allows you to be in a relaxed mental state which prevents you from experiencing stressful events during the therapy session.
Hypnosis can prevent you from having health-related problems that are caused by chronic stress. You can also use hypnosis to improve your lifestyle and overcome bad habits such as compulsive eating and/or smoking.
Meditation allows you to take control of your mental awareness. It is one of those natural stress relief options that help you make the right decisions in your daily life, so that you will become a happier and better person.
Meditation makes you more aware of your responses when it comes to dealing with stress. You will become aware of when you are anxious and you will have a better way of dealing with stressful situations.
Here is a stress reducing meditation exercise by Jane Fonda.
Your sex life can have an effect on how you cope with stress. Having sexual intercourse with your partner can alleviate stress. Sex can lift your mood and make you feel chipper when you wake up. It can also reduce your blood pressure and make you more confident during stressful situations such as public speaking or when solving math problems.
During sexual intercourse, your body relaxes as you breathe deeply and your blood will become more oxygenated which results in reduced stress levels. Having sex enables your body to release a hormone called endorphin which makes you feel good. On top of that, sexual activity can help you burn fat.
8. Herbal supplements
There are certain herbs that contain natural chemicals which can reduce stress and these include St. John’s wort, passionflower, valerian root, kava, and lemon balm.
Herbal supplements are one of the most widely used natural stress relief options. The most effective herbal supplement in reducing stress is lemon balm. This herbal supplement can make you feel calm and enhance your mood. The stress-reducing effects of lemon balm can last up to six hours.
Working out is one of the more effective natural stress relief options and it can also make you healthy and physically fit. Getting regular exercise relieves stress and increases your brain’s production of endorphin neurotransmitters, which makes you feel good. Aside from that, daily exercise can prevent you from being depressed when things get overwhelming and make you feel more confident about yourself.
The increased heart rate that you experience when you are working out reverses the harmful damage in your brain which is caused by stressful situations. The hippocampus controls your memory and when you are feeling stressed, you tend to forget about things. Getting regular exercise can enhance your memory and will make you more intelligent.
Try this relaxation exercise if you like calm exercising.
Some people are unaware that crying is the one of the most common natural stress relief options. Crying has a therapeutic benefit that is important in releasing stress. The tears produced in your eyes when you are crying contain harmful substances that are caused by stress. When you cry, these harmful substances are removed from your body and your stress levels will be reduced.
Crying as an outlet is something that most people are discouraged from doing because it is perceived as a sign of weakness. As a result, the stress in the body will only increase if the tears are not released. You will feel much better after you cry and crying helps to clear your mind so that you can think about things more clearly.
The stress that you experience on a daily basis has a connection to the way you sleep. During your working hours, you may encounter stressful events regularly which could lead to chronic stress problems if not given much attention. Your stress level increases when you sleep less than the usual hours needed by your body.
It is essential for you to have at least 8 hours of sleep every day to acquire enough energy to function normally and accomplish your daily tasks more easily. However, you may have difficulty sleeping if your stress levels are high which can sometimes cause sleeping disorders.
When you are not having the right amount of time needed by your body to rest, the best solution is to gradually adjust your sleeping time until you are able to sleep for 8 hours. Always keep in mind that having a good night’s rest will effectively reduce the stress you experience during your working hours.
Sleep is one of the most effective natural stress relief options out there — and it’s free as well!