The truth is that stress is not as bad as we perceive it to be. We actually need stress in order to react to “fight or flight” situations But, chronic stress can be mentally and physically harmful. Did you know that chronic stress can lead to heart disease, stroke, a depressed immune system, weight changes, insomnia, and migraines1?
Situations that can create stress are unavoidable, but we can control the way we react. Learning how to properly deal with unhealthy stress levels can make a huge impact on your health. The next time you are feeling overwhelmingly stressed, consider these seven natural tips:
Organizing ones’ thoughts in a journal can help facilitate problem-solving and therefore reduce the stress of negative thoughts and situations.
A recent study found that many college students turn to journal-writing following times of emotional hardship — rather than other types of writing — as diaries have commonly been used as a form of emotional release2.
Another study published in Psychotherapy Research found that psychotherapy patients who were told to let out their emotions through expressive writing experienced greater reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms and better progress in psychotherapy when compared to a control group3.
2. Exercising Regularly
Going for a walk around the block or moderate strength training can help reduce stress and anxiety by offering a healthy distraction from negative thoughts.
3. Taking A “Media Break”
We spend most of our days on our phones or computers. Taking periodic breaks from the internet and computer related work can promote a sense of mental calm and help renew your spirits. This will minimize the anxiety and overstimulation caused by media consumption.
4. Reducing Your Caffeine Intake
If you are sensitive to stimulants, you may want to put down the coffee and soda. Instead, try drinking green tea. While it does have less caffeine than a latte, it will still help you wake up and it’s a whole lot healthier. Green tea’s health benefits include lowering your risk for some types of cancer, lowering your risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and killing bacteria to improve dental health.
5. Breathing Exercises
Taking a deep breath is one of the best ways to lower anxiety and gain a sense of empowerment. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body4.
There are lots of breathing exercises you can do to help relax.
6. Cleaning The Clutter
Putting in the effort of getting organized, especially if this organization extends to multiple areas of your life, can help reduce stress levels. It can also give you a sense of empowerment as you experience new situations with "excitement" rather than feeling "stressed".
7. Taking Ashwagandha Daily
Ashwagandha is considered adaptogenic and can help to balance hormones that are associated with anxiety. If you are feeling fatigued or burnt out, it can give you energy and also suppress certain hormones that can stimulate when you are feeling stressed. It is also a depressant for the central nervous system, allowing you to relax and get necessary sleep.
1. Chronic stress puts your health at risk
2. Stress and Anxiety Reduction Due to Writing
3. Effects of Expressive Writing on Psychological and Physical Health: The Moderating Role of Emotional Expressivity
4. Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation