More and more people are being affected by stress in their everyday lives. As modern living becomes more and more hectic, the rates of stress being experienced are only set to climb.
People are working longer hours and are required to be ‘on-call’ in what used to be their downtime. Economic worries can affect families in different ways. The breakup of the family unit, where extended family members are scattered all over a particular state or country can also contribute to stress. No longer are grandparents always close by if a family needs a break or just some good old-fashioned advice.
Health food stores are full of tablets that promise to reduce stress. Doctors will quickly prescribe something a little stronger if you indicate that you need it. So how do you decide how to deal with your stress levels and reduce the stress that you are experiencing?
Before you march yourself off to the doctor for a prescription, try these 5 natural ways to reduce stress:
1. Deep Breathing.Deep breathing and meditation is proven to reduce the stress that your body is experiencing. If you have trouble sleeping, are feeling sad, angry or anxious, try taking 10 long deep breaths and see how much better you feel. Deep breathing increases the oxygen available to your cells and will make you feel relaxed and calm.
2. Drink Wine In Moderation. Research indicates that drinking wine in moderation may help to reduce stress. Limit your wine drinking to just one 5oz glass per day. This is not very much so make sure you measure one out to get an idea of how much 5oz is when it is poured into your glass. Enjoy your glass of wine with a meal. Have friends around while you consume your one glass per day as this can increase the wine’s effectiveness. Often a glass of wine with a meal after work will calm you down. Unfortunately adding subsequent glasses to your evening does not increase the stress-reducing effects of the alcohol. Be sure to stop at just one for best results.
If you aren’t already a wine drinker however, don’t take it up just to combat stress! Maybe you prefer natural cannabis in moderation if alcohol doesn’t sit well with you. Either is safer than prescription pharmaceuticals.
3. Sleep. A good night’s sleep is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. Our very busy lives often mean we go to bed later and get up earlier than we would like. Getting extra sleep takes no special preparations or skills. You just have to become disciplined and tuck yourself up in bed in plenty of time to get a great night’s sleep. While you are sleeping you are allowing your body to rest and all of your cells to regenerate. Remember to turn off your gadgets so you are not disturbed on the nights you’ve planned to catch up on your sleep quota.
4. Exercise. Exercise is the easiest to ignore of the natural ways to reduce stress. It generally takes a bit of effort to exercise, and busy stressful people are not always willing to find the time to do it correctly. Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be four hours of killing yourself at the gym (unless that’s what you love!) A 15-minute brisk walk twice a day will have you feeling less stressed before you know it. Even parking the car a little further away at the shops will give you the time to get a quick bit of exercise into your busy day. Or more sex. Make it a fun, active 15 minutes each day.
5. Limit Your Technology Use. If you are on a computer all day at work, try to limit your computer time when you come home. There is much to be said for spending time with the family rather than sitting in front of a computer screen for half the night after a long day at work. Social media means there is so much to see and find out about your friends and many people find themselves getting sucked into the daily dramas in their friends’ lives. This can be very stressful and it doesn’t hurt to get away from it every now and then. Schedule time into your life where you are going to ‘unplug’ from your technology. Computer use is hardly a natural pastime but spending more time with your family and friends is definitely a natural way to reduce stress. One day a week with no Tweets, Likes or Follow will not kill you. In fact, you might even realize that you like it!
When you are looking for natural ways to reduce stress, remember that a little bit of good stress in your day is OK. A sudden rush of excitement when you finish a project early or when you come home to an unexpected gift is a great boost.
It’s the negative stress you need to be on the lookout for. Consistently having your body in a state of high alert is detrimental to your health and will eventually take its toll on your health if you don’t take the steps to stop it in its tracks.
Tell us how you relieve stress naturally…