6-Ways to Naturally Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Finances. Family drama. College classes. Local, national, and international news. Car trouble. At any given time, there are a million causes for stress and anxiety in daily life. As a young adult, there are so many people and things vying for your attention that at times, it may feel as though you are about to burst! This is enough to put anyone’s mental health at risk.
How can an overwhelmed, anxious mental state be addressed in a healthy, natural way? Fortunately, there are plenty of methods to address personal mental health and maintain a reduced level of stress and anxiety while managing all of the ups and downs of modern life.
Even if you don’t feel as though you have severe anxiety or trouble managing your stress, it can still be a good idea to check in with your mental health frequently, and try a few of these natural remedies to help prevent stress and anxiety from becoming prevalent in daily life!
Meditation is one of the simplest ways to begin addressing the stress and anxiety in your life. Meditation is free, simple, and can be done just about anywhere! There are a few different types of meditation, and many different ways to begin.
One simple type of meditation is known as mindfulness. This is simply the act of making a repeated, conscious decision to be fully present in the moment, to notice and accept all of the sensory input that the body senses, and to work toward balance and acceptance with each passing day.
A more traditional type of meditation involves the entire body, and is usually practiced in a quiet room, often at the beginning or end of the day. Guided meditation often involves the entire body, and is a mental exercise in releasing tension, calming the inner thoughts, and evoking a sense of peace despite the stress and anxiety caused by our surroundings. There are even apps that can help beginners get started!
Both types of meditation have been known to cause significant improvements in quality of life for individuals who suffer from stress and anxiety. This is a natural solution that can have some drastic benefits.
Stress and anxiety are often accompanied by depression. These three mental health issues have been shown to be linked to insufficient levels of chemicals in the brain responsible for happiness and stress relief. One of the most highly recommended treatments for these ailments? Exercise!
It may seem like the absolute last thing that you have time for. Exercise may seem counterintuitive- why would you want to get your blood pumping and heart racing when the anxiety is already causing these effects while standing still?
Exercise acts as a way of “re-setting” the brain and body. Running, cardio, boxing, or even just a walk through the neighborhood can be enough to interrupt the brain’s cycle of anxiety and stress and positively impact the rest of your day.
According to Anxiety.org, reiki is one of the preferred treatments provided by top anxiety physicians, for multiple reasons. First, it is a treatment that is highly individualized, which can mean very positive results. Additionally, it is a completely natural treatment that can be done once or repeated many times with no negative effects.
Reiki is one of many terms used in reference to the ancient Japanese practice of spirit energy manipulation or rejuvenation. The reiki healer uses touch to lead the life-force energy through the body in order to release tension and instigate healing. This type of treatment can be incredibly effective, as it is gentle while allowing the body to begin healing itself naturally.
The use of essential oils and aromatherapy dates back thousands of years, but has just undergone a resurgence of popularity. Many people who suffer from anxiety and severe stress have reported positive effects from burning incense, lighting candles, or diffusing essential oils. Because of the link between the olfactory system and the parts of the brain that affect mood and emotion, there is thought to be some scientific evidence in support of essential oils for stress relief.
Some anxiety sufferers opt to apply the oils directly to the skin, which results in the eventual absorption of the oils in to the bloodstream. This may also be effective in creating calm and reducing panic.
With recent developments in the area of natural health supplements, there has been a great deal of research and development involving CBD. This chemical compound is a component of both hemp and marijuana plants, but it is unique in that it shares the healing qualities of both plants without having the THC chemical that induces a “high”. CBD products are 100% safe to use for people and even pets! Taking a daily supplement or using CBD products as needed has been revolutionary for some people suffering from anxiety and stress, and as these products are completely natural, they are potentially better for you than some OTC medications.
When trying CBD products, it is important to find a company that is upfront and honest about their sourcing, production, and packaging practices. This ensures that you are using a high-quality product that has the highest potential to be the best for your health.
When stress and anxiety are recurrent, they can lead to a build-up of tension in the body. This tension is often stored in the muscles of the back, neck, and shoulders, which can lead to intense discomfort, pain, and even numbness or tingling. The positive effects of massage are numerous, including everything from reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the brain, to an increase in activity of the parasympathetic system responsible for calming your body and mind down. These effects seem to increase over time with regular massages, so it may be time to become a patron of the local spa!
***Written for Meridian Counseling by Mollie Wilson. Mollie is a freelance writer from North Carolina. When she is not writing, she is perusing an adventures life- backpacking, climbing, exploring local coffee shops, and traveling.