NATURAL STRESS RELIEF
Stress in our lives is something that none of us can avoid. Finding a means
of natural stress relief to deal with the stress we unavoidably encounter
is, without a doubt, one of the most important things we can do.
No matter what our problems are, what causes them, whether we have control over
them or not, everyone from medical professionals to our moms will tell us that we need
to reduce our stress.
The Question. How do we do find "natural" stress relief so that we can avoid going on depression medications or
visiting our psychiatrist weekly?
Moving to a tropical island sounds nice and does provide natural stress relief, but if it is
inhabited it is very expensive to live there and you will need a really good job - more stress!
These are all questions we will explore as we look for ways of natural stress relief.
The Answer. Learning to deal with stress does not lie in the use of medication. Natural approaches
actually work better because they deal with the problem, thereby teaching us how to make the problem go away.
Story. Dr. Merrill treated one woman who went to a hospital in another city to deal with her stress
related problems and did fantastically well as long as she was gone. When she returned home,
however, the problems that created the stresses had not gone away and in a very short period of
time she was right back where she started.
Learning to Control the Source of the Stress.
The Notebook. Someone once suggested that I carry a small notebook with me in which I was to make two columns, one for things which irritate or cause stress. The other column would be for the
things that bring a flash of happiness.
Doing this has been a great exercise. It helps me identify things over which I do have
control such as being irritated while driving - is saving a few minutes worth an accident
or even a ticket? Or when the kids spilled their milk - take the carpet out from under
the table - then clean up is easy - they are kids - take a picture and save it for something to
laugh about later.
This little notepad has helped me make attitude changes many times.
Contemplate. Gaining an understanding of the stressor or cause is important and necessary if I am going
to find a true perspective of the size and nature of the problem.
I pick a quiet time when I am alone and can analyze the things I have written down. This helps me gain an understanding of what options of coping and adaptation are available. It helps me be able to set the goals I need to accomplish in order to change the current circumstance.
It also helps me identify things over which I have no control. By doing this it helps me see my path more clearly. Do I need to make a change in order to have peace? In extreme conditions
even a career change or physical move may be the best long term solution.
Learn to Set Limits.
There is only so much time in the day and only so many things you can do at once. You don't
have to be all things to all people. Saying "no" to some demands that are placed upon us
is not a bad thing.
A few simple things that provide natural stress relief in a big way include:
- A deep breath. Sit with your back
straight. Breathe in deeply through the nose for a count of 3 to 5, hold, then exhale slowly through the mouth.
This sends oxygen rushing through the bloodstream to the brain - producing endorphins - and giving you relief.
This releases negative emotions fast. The commercials of eating a mint and being taken away
to some beautiful beach or mountain top really does work.
- The neck roll. Sit with a
straight back. Starting on your left shoulder (or right - it doesn't matter) roll your neck slowly
across the front of your body to the opposite shoulder and then back again. Do this three times. Now,
roll your neck across the back of your body the same way again three times. When you have done this - with large circles
roll your head all the way around in a full circle. Stop at the starting place and reverse. Roll
your head all the way around in the opposite direction. Do this three times. You will feel so much
- Laugh. Nothing works faster or better to pull you away from your stressful state and bring balance back into your mind than a good laugh. Practice laughing if you have too. Watch funny shows and read fully things.
A game that is fun to play with your family is called "The Ha Game." Have everyone lay on the floor in a circle, placing your head on the next persons stomach so that everyone has their head on the next persons stomach. The rules are simple. The first person says "ha". The second person says ha ha. The third person says ha ha ha. The goal is to try not to laugh, but it is really hard. It sounds too simple, but it is screaming funny. Try it - you will like it.
- Smell. Breathe the Lavender Essential Oil or light an essential oil candle. Believe it or not -
smelling something calming such as lavender Essential Oil will actually cause your brain to release endorphins -
and you will feel better.
Exercise. As soon as possible do some really physical exercise. Golf. Bike.
Swim. Hike. Go to the gym. Work out at home with a DVD. Swing on a swing. Touch your toes repeatedly.
Exercise is undoubtedly the greatest stress reliever of all. Also releasing endorphins, of course.
- Herbal Tea. Drink a cup of herbal tea
such as Chamomille or any stress relief formula. The actual act of sipping the tea will help
calm you down fast.
- Shop. I don't know why, but sometimes when things are really bad, buying something really helps. Even if it is a little something.
- Listen to Music. Relaxing, soothing music can calm a wild beast. Why not you.
- Eat chocolate. Eating chocolate always helps everything, and besides, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and is good for your health. It will help lower
Other natural stress relief activity outlets include meditation, hobbies, reading, exploring, really anything that is restful to you. A change of scenery and environment as a diversion helps calm you down and allows you to think through things more clearly.
Remember. No One Can Do This For You. It is an individual thing. Find what works. Then work it. Abraham Lincoln said, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."
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