A pounding heart. Sweating yet feeling cold enough to shiver. That feeling in your stomach as if a snake is wriggling around inside it. These symptoms are all-too-common hallmarks of stress and anxiety.
Believe it or not, our body’s stress response was designed to help us. In our ancestors’ days, stress typically came from an immediate physical threat like a predator eyeing them as prey. That burst of energy was perfect for running away or fighting for their lives because the threat was short-lived.
The problem is that our bodies haven’t caught up with our modern lifestyles in which stress is frequent and prolonged. Today’s sources of stress also don’t require us to “fight or flee” in a physical way. Instead of giving us necessary energy, our stress response just creates long-term hormonal shifts that were never meant to be long-term.
Not only is this ongoing stress uncomfortable and sometimes life-disrupting but it impacts our health too. Stress is known to contribute to serious health risks like high blood pressure, and evidence is mounting that the internal inflammation from stress can increase your risk for countless other illnesses too.
What can you do about it? Thankfully, Mother Nature is full of options.
If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety on a frequent basis, you don’t have to decide between powerful pharmaceuticals and staying buried under your anxiety. Try these natural remedies for relieving stress and anxiety without adding risks to your health.
Our brain is a fascinating organ - it has specific biological responses to different stimuli that may surprise you. In fact, that’s why aromatherapy has become so popular.
There are certain scents that, when they reach your brain, trigger reactions that make you feel calmer, or more focused, or more energized, and so on. Try the aromatherapy scents that are known to reduce stress, like lavender, rose, and ylang-ylang.
Meditation is one of the oldest ways to relieve stress and anxiety, and there’s a reason why it’s still around today: because it truly works. There are many types of meditation, all with their own techniques and purposes. At their core, though, they all focus on controlling your breathing, connecting with your body, and visualization.
After some practice, you’ll be able to meditate on your own by connecting to your breath and repeating a mental mantra. For beginners, though, the easiest way to start meditating is to look for videos online of guided meditations that will take you through the process.
The problem with many types of stress relief is that they take time. If you’re stressed about the amount of work you have to do, those methods aren’t always feasible. Herbal supplements are quicker, more convenient options.
There are countless herbs in the world that are known to reduce anxiety and stress. To get a well-rounded relief, the best option is to choose a combined supplement that includes multiple anxiety-reducing herbs. Herb Krave’s Calm & Connected, for example, contains Ashwagandha Root, Ginkgo leaf, Rhodiola, Lemon Balm and several other soothing ingredients.
Think back to the way our ancestors responded to stress: they used the burst of internal energy to fight or flee. By responding to stress the way their bodies expected, they were able to flow with the hormonal changes, not against them, to get back to a balanced state when the stress ended.
So why not do the same today? Exercising helps you burn off that nervous energy and respond to stress the way your body expects. It also releases endorphins which naturally boost your mood for hours.
Sleep disruptions are among the most common side effects of stress and anxiety. Your mind keeps chattering about whatever it is that’s making you stressed, and it’s hard to fall asleep with all that chatter.
The problem, though, is that getting too little sleep can actually make stress and anxiety worse as well. It becomes an endless loop: you’re anxious so you don’t sleep well, which makes you more anxious so your sleep is even worse the following night, and so on.
To break the cycle, use as many strategies as you need to promote healthy sleep. Use a white noise machine to provide a calming amount of sound and avoid screens before bedtime because the blue light they emit will lower your sleep-inducing hormones. Create a soothing nighttime ritual that tells your brain it’s time to sleep.
You can also try natural supplements to improve your sleep. Melatonin is an herbal option that’s non-habit-forming and has a low risk of side effects.
Your diet has more to do with your stress than you might realize. In our modern world, sugars and additives in processed foods are common in the average household. Unfortunately, these ingredients often spark anxiety.
Instead, reduce processed foods as much as possible and focus on whole foods you’d find in nature, like vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Avoid foods with a high glycemic index like sugar and heavy starches, because these cause sudden highs and lows in your blood sugar levels. Those blood sugar shifts can contribute to anxiety.
A hot cup of tea can do far more than warm your soul on a cold day. It turns out that it can reduce your anxiety and stress as well.
Many herbal teas are known for their calming effect. Sipping a warm drink alone is soothing, but these teas produce a relaxation response in your brain in much the same way that aromatherapy scents do. The most effective tea appears to be chamomile, so reach for a cup the next time you need to break a stress spiral.
Stress and anxiety are part of our biology in a way, but our lifestyles have changed far too quickly for our biochemistry to keep up with. For people today, stress management is a matter of health, and the natural remedies for stress and anxiety relief above can put you on track for better health.