At some point in life, most of us will experience prolonged stress periods. Some would even say that stress is one of the unavoidable factors of modern day and age. Stress can be triggered by various factors such as work, family matters, and health issues among many others. Irrespective of the stress trigger, there are natural ways of dealing with it. With stress being such as common problem today, we have come up with several natural methods for reducing your day to day stress levels, which will improve your mental, and physical health along the way.
I bet you have heard this one before, and it is with a good reason. To lower your stress levels, avoiding or reducing caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake is essential. As stimulants, caffeine and nicotine increase the stress levels as they can lead to irritability and depression. While alcohol is championed as a depressant, it is a stimulant if taken in small quantities which makes alcohol a not-so-helpful tool in fighting stress. Instead of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, take a lot of water, natural juices or herbal tea, which are proven to have calming effects. Also, don’t indulge too much in foods high in processed sugars, as they can lead to energy crashes resulting in tiredness and irritability.
Indulging in physical activity can reduce your stress levels by stimulating the brain to produce endorphins – considered as the “feel good” chemical – thus reducing stress and also improving the quality of sleep and rest. In tough situations, like when you feel threatened or faced with too many demands, the nervous system responds by producing high levels of adrenaline and cortisol which are the primarily stress hormones. Endorphin on the other hand counters the effects of stress hormones. Contrary to belief, you really don’t have to partake in high-intensity work out to rip the benefits of exercising, an easy jogging session, bicycle ride through nature or even relaxed exercise session in your living room will do a lot for stress relief.
A good massage can go a long way in reducing your stress levels. Although, methods and styles of this ancient healing practice are far and many, with Hong Kong massage experts being among most popular and respected today, even a short self performed home session can get you a long way. Well performed massage will help you in lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, muscles relaxation, and stimulate the production of endorphins, covered above. Also, massage causes the production of hormones dopamine and serotonin – which play a significant role in attaining a calm and relaxed state of mind and thus reduces stress. Practicing and adding massage session in your daily routine schedule is an important step on the way of reduction increased levels of stress.
While the lack of sleep can cause stress, stress itself can also often be a cause for lack of sleep or even insomnia. Getting enough rest through sleep will help you get through the day better and deal with stress well. You can get enough sleep by undertaking a short low-key exercise session before sleep and by avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Also, aiming to have a fixed daily routine by retiring to bed at approximately the same time, your body will in the long run get used to this routine which will improve the quality of sleep and rest.
Quality Time with Friends and Family
By spending quality time with positive people who matter in your life, you can talk about issues which may be stressing you. Talking about these issues offer a good distraction from stressful thoughts as well as releasing mental tension. Some things that cause stress can be solved by simply talking about them. And with these groups of people, you are free to express yourself however you want, as you can laugh, cry and confide without much worries or barriers.
Although it may sound strange, but positive thinking is something that many people need to teach themselves. Practicing how to overcome overwhelmingly negative thoughts and focus on positive outcome is one of the essential steps on the path to stress reduction. This takes time and practice, as it is a form of mental training, but its many benefits will reflect not only on your stress levels being decreased, but also in reducing chances for depression and better dealing with unavoidable hardships of modern age. Keep in mind that positive thinking is not a way of deluding yourself, but rather a process of trained rational thinking that has focus on not only positive outcome of situations, but also keeping pessimistic thoughts under control.
While this is not an exhaustive list, good and balanced combination of these proven practices will definitely lead to reduced stress levels in your life, and consequently, improved physical and mental health.