It’s no secret that people are feeling the stress these days. But chemical cures to stress often come with loads of undesirable side effects. So if you’re looking for some natural stress relievers, here are our top 5.
Buddhist monks have trained themselves to calm their hearts and minds for years. In fact, some accomplished monks have been able to meditate their heart rates to a virtual standstill. Of course, you don’t need to aim for that level of inner peace to reap the benefits of meditation. Anyone can learn to breathe properly and control the nagging thoughts in their mind. The great thing about meditation is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. Are work meetings particularly stressful? Take a few minutes in the break room or bathroom to breathe through the anxiety before tackling the next project.
Stress can make us angry and frustrated, but don’t bottle it up. Take it out on a punching bag in boxing class or on the pavement by running like the wind. Exercising also increases circulation, which in turn helps boost your immune system and release happy-hormones called endorphins. The harder your workout, the more you’re going to feel that afterglow. Talk about a win-win way to combat the negative effects of stress!
Petting an animal
You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you hug someone you love? That’s caused by oxytocin, the so-called “love hormone.” You don’t need a human partner to get a hit of oxytocin, though. Snuggle up with your pet for a few minutes and just enjoy rubbing its belly or ears. Studies have shown that both you and your animal produce oxytocin during a petting session, strengthening your bond and decreasing stress.
A hot soak
Stress causes our muscles to tense up without us knowing, leading to neck, shoulder, and back injuries. But relieving these physical pains can also help relieve mental strain. Draw a hot bath to soak in. The water will relax you and release the tension from your sore muscles. This will help your brain relax as well. Also consider lighting a few candles or using a bath bomb to fill your bathroom with soothing scents.
Biologically, sex must be a fun activity in order to keep the human race going. During this necessary reproductive process, your brain floods your body with all sorts of hormones that help you relax and stop worrying about life. These happy-chemicals include serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. Plus, your heart rate increases and your blood vessels dilate, increasing circulation and adding to that warm, fuzzy feeling.