A 2022 survey revealed that 84% of Americans feel stressed at least once a week. As stress levels continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to be proactive in preventing and managing anxiety and unease. In this guide, we’ll explore some effective natural remedies for stress management and share tips to help you feel calm and relaxed.
Most people are aware of the physical benefits of regular exercise, but being active can also be hugely beneficial for mental well-being. Exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer, but it also makes you feel amazing. When you work out and move your body, this triggers the release of endorphins, and the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain increase. Going to an exercise class, playing sports or hitting the gym can help you to clear your mind and it also provides a distraction from stressors, such as work and financial pressures.
Working out regularly aids sleep, and it can also be an effective way to channel and control your emotions. If you feel stressed, or you’ve had a long, trying day, for example, you may find that going for a hike, doing a boxing session or working up a sweat at a dance class helps you to express yourself. Intensive activities like running, kickboxing and spinning can be cathartic for pent-up aggression, frustration and stress. Gentler exercises like yoga, Pilates and swimming are ideal for helping you to wind down and relax.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, aim to increase your activity levels. Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Start by making time for walks, attending an exercise class once or twice a week or doing short workouts at home. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of sessions as you get fitter and stronger. It’s a great idea to use an activity tracker to motivate you. If you usually do 3,000 steps per day, set yourself a target of 5,000, work your way up to 8,000 and try to get to 10,000.
Natural oils have been used to induce calm and promote well-being for decades. As a consumer, it’s now possible to buy a vast array of products that contain oils that aid relaxation. From products you can apply directly to the skin or put in the bath to those you use on your pillows or scatter around the house, you can purchase all kinds of oils to make you feel better. CBD products from companies like Naturesarc can help to lower stress and anxiety levels while essential oils like lavender, chamomile and sandalwood improve sleep quality. Orange is a popular choice for meditation and lemon is famed for its ability to lift the spirits and enhance well-being. Choose oils that suit your mood and experiment with different products. If you want to add aromas to your home and create a soothing, tranquil environment, look for scented candles, diffusers, and electric pods, which release oils into the air.
Spending time in nature
Spending time in nature can be incredibly relaxing, especially if you have a busy schedule and you find it difficult to get away from your desk. Being outside is uplifting and energizing and it gives you a sense of perspective. Even if you live in the heart of the city, you can reap the rewards of spending time in green spaces. Take a walk in the park once a day and try to find time in the evenings and on the weekends to venture further afield. Embrace activities like kayaking, climbing, cycling, fishing, hiking and open water swimming. Explore, breathe in the fresh air and take in the surroundings.
Creative activities enable you to express yourself and have fun. They can be cathartic and they provide a release. You don’t have to be a talented author, a master chef or an artistic maestro to benefit from exercising creativity. If you enjoy being creative, that’s all that matters. Whether you want to write, play music, bake, sew, paint, draw or take photographs, devoting more time to creative pursuits will boost your mental health and lower stress levels. You can choose to take time out alone, engage in activities with friends or your partner, or meet new people at classes or clubs.
When you feel anxious, stressed or uptight, you may notice that your chest feels tight and your heart rate increases. Breathing exercises bring the heart rate down gently, encouraging you to feel more relaxed. Take deep breaths and follow guided sessions via podcasts or video tutorials. Once you know how to do targeted exercises to help you feel calmer, you can employ them whenever you feel yourself starting to get stressed.
Many of us lead busy lives, and we’re guilty of trying to cram so much in that we don’t leave ourselves time to have fun. If you work long hours, you have children, or you’re always rushing around doing errands when you finish work, take time out to enjoy yourself. Make time for hobbies and hang out with friends and family members. Go and watch a movie, play sports together, visit a museum or gallery, hit the beach, take a picnic to the park, arrange dinner or drinks, go to a concert, travel or indulge in some retail therapy. Socializing and doing things you love can make a huge difference to your mental health, especially during stressful periods.
Stress affects all of us. Often, it’s mild and we can cope and even use stress to our advantage, but in some cases, it can be overwhelming. It’s beneficial to be proactive in managing and preventing stress. There are several natural ways to induce calm and relaxation. Exercise regularly, spend as much time as possible in nature, and get creative. Try natural oils, use breathing exercises to lower stress levels and make time for fun. We all need a release and a break from work and other stressors. Spend time with friends and family members, make plans together and try to find a healthy work-life balance.