Natural Remedies for Dealing with Stress

By Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP

Natural Remedies for Dealing with StressMany Americans today are under huge amounts of stress. With the decline of the economy, many find themselves dealing with financial stress. There are also those everyday stressors that come along with the normal hustle and bustle of life.
Stress-related doctor visits are on the rise.

There are several medical options for dealing with stress. While medications can be helpful, many individuals want to avoid taking them every day or dealing with possible side effects.

There are several natural remedies to consider when dealing with stress.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Eating right is not only good for your body physically, but it is also good for emotional health. When we eat better, we feel better. Some suggest a natural body cleanse or detox to jumpstart this process. Avoiding excessive fats, carbs and processed foods will help you feel more energetic and may give you the energy to try other natural techniques. However, before making any changes to your regular diet, discuss options with your physician.

Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins – those “feel-good chemicals” that can improve your mood and leave you feeling good about yourself. It can help you cope with stress and ward off depression and anxiety. Studies also have shown that it can improve immune function, which is often compromised under high amounts of stress.

Having a Positive Attitude

Many individuals fail to recognize the results of a positive attitude. Making lemonade out of lemons can drastically improve one’s day. A positive attitude can leave you feeling more motivated to get things done, which can reduce stress. Having a positive attitude also can allow you to enjoy more success in all areas of your life.

Trying Herbal Remedies

Several herbal remedies can be used to reduce stress. Talk to your physician before beginning to use any, as some can interfere with other medications.

Aromatherapy uses the medicinal properties of plant and herb essential oils to relieve tension and provide stress relief. Lavender, chamomile, rosewood, geranium and frankincense are just a few oils recognized for their calming effects. They also can be used as massage oils.

Some herbs can be taken orally. Again, consult your physician first.

Massage Therapy

A therapeutic massage can encourage relaxation and aid in relieving stress. It has been shown to lower the heart rate, lower blood pressure, relax muscles, and increase endorphins.

Finding the right massage therapist for you is important, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and do a little research. Check into costs and check your health care plan. You may be surprised to find your insurance may cover several sessions. If they are not covered by your healthcare provider, you may find it beneficial to work into your budget.

Massage is generally safe as long as it is done by a licensed therapist. However, they are not appropriate for everyone. Consult your physician first.

Relaxation Techniques

There are several types of relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and meditation are among the most popular.

Deep breathing involves slow and patterned breathing that has been proven to lower the heart rate, reduce muscle tension, and reduce anger and frustration.

Progressive muscle relaxation focuses on slowly tensing and relaxing each muscle group, allowing you to become more aware of physical sensations in the body.

Visualization includes forming mental images to take a visual journey to a calming place. During visualization it is advised to use as many of the five senses as possible.

Meditation is medically defined by the practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. There are many types of meditation, so it is best to find the method that works best for you.

You will find that relaxation techniques take practice. The more you practice, the better you will become. Keep looking until you find the one that is right for you.

 

APA Reference
White, D. (2011). Natural Remedies for Dealing with Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/natural-remedies-for-dealing-with-stress/0009962
Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

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