Do you feel the stress in your life is increasing? Do you struggle to stay calm, get things done, or attain enough sleep?
If so, you’re not alone. According to a survey by The Global Organization for Stress, 75% of people experience moderate to high stress that affects their physical or mental health.
If you’re fed up with waking up in a state of uncertainty, getting angry at little things, or tossing and turning in your bed at night, read on. In this week’s article and Youtube video, I’m sharing the best natural yet effective strategies for relieving stress, no medication involved.
3 Natural & Easy Stress Relieving Strategies
Firstly, I want to point out that if you’re experiencing high stress, do not assume there is nothing you can do. You do NOT have to persevere through it, nor do you have to take any medication.
Instead, there are MANY natural ways to relieve stress, which have been scientifically proven to be effective. Here are three of my favorite stress-busting techniques.
- Spend Time With Animals
Do you have a pet at home? If so, you already have one of the best stress management tools!
Interacting with pets (or any animal) has been shown to reduce stress by decreasing cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and lowering high blood pressure (a common symptom of chronic stress).
Animals, especially pets, have a calming and mood-boosting presence. Studies have found that petting or cuddling a pet releases the hormone oxytocin, which is associated with relaxation and stress reduction.
Cats, in particular, have destressing “superpowers.” Cats use their purr for several reasons, one of which is to destress themselves. However, the low vibration of a cat’s purr has also been found to benefit humans by lowering stress levels and even facilitating healing.
Spending time with animals can also combat loneliness. Not only does it increase social connection as you are interacting with another living being, but it can also promote connections with other people. If you have ever walked a dog, you’ll know how everyone suddenly wants to stop and talk to you – a dog’s presence is the ultimate conversation starter.
If you don’t have a pet, you can spend time with animals in many other ways. Offering to walk a friend’s dog, volunteering at an animal shelter, or taking up horse riding lessons are just a few examples.
- Take A Relaxing Salt Bath
If you prefer a way to destress that does not involve animals (or people), run yourself a relaxing mineral salt bath. I know it sounds like such a simple thing, but there is a reason why taking a bath is many people’s number one destressing activity.
Note that I’m not talking about a bubble bath here (though they can still be relaxing). Instead, I recommend adding this simple mixture to your bath:
– 1 cup Epsom salt
– 1/2 cup Himalayan pink salt
– 1/2 cup baking soda
Epsom salts are, in fact, magnesium sulfate, a mineral that is absorbed through the skin and known to have many stress-relieving properties. It soothes the nervous system and regulates neurotransmitters like serotonin (a “feel-good” hormone),
This saltwater mix also relaxes your muscles, which are often tense and tight in times of stress. As your muscles relax, your brain receives signals of relaxation that can reduce mental stress.
To make your bath extra soothing, I recommend adding 10-15 drops of calming essential oil like lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus. These essential oils have been shown to regulate stress hormones like cortisol and support better sleep. So if your chronic stress keeps you awake at night, add salt baths to your evening routine.
A large amount of scientific research shows regular meditation to be an effective way to keep stress levels down.
Like the ocean, our minds can be calm or choppy. When we’re stressed, our minds are turbulent, with many thoughts and worries stealing our attention and overwhelming us.
However, during meditation, we observe our breath and connect to our senses. This creates more space between our thoughts, so the waves in the ocean lessen.
With regular, consistent practice, we can create a calm ocean within us. There will still be thoughts coming and going, but they no longer carry the strength and power to knock us off our center.
Meditation does not just help us feel calm in that moment, though. Its effects ripple into our daily lives, changing how we react to and handle stressors.
This is because many internal changes occur in our brains through meditation. For example, connections between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex increase, which reduce our reactivity to stressors and improve our ability to bounce back from stress.
Moreover, we can utilize this stress management tool throughout the day. Whenever we notice our stress increasing, we can direct our awareness to our breathing and reconnect to our center. This is why meditation is such a powerful technique for finding inner calm amidst the chaos of everyday life.
These are just three of the many ways to help you better handle stressors. Discover more natural stress management techniques by watching the full episode on Youtube:
If you prefer an audio-only version, here’s where you can listen to the podcast episode:
Download my FREE stress guide here: https://drkimfoster.com/stress
I’d love to hear your experience with stress. What is your go-to de-stressing activity?
Comment below or find me on Instagram and let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
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