I have been in a serious funk lately. Stress has been giving me headaches, anxiety, and messing with my gut. Stress is no joke folks. It has been associated with low energy, weight gain, headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, insomnia, decreased immunity, teeth grinding, loss of focus, decreased sexual desire, and more.
Fortunately, there are a number of things that can be done naturally to help combat stress and lessen anxiety! Here are some good tips to implement when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Exercise is one of the best methods to naturally de-stress. Working out releases powerful endorphins in the brain that work to boost your mood and ease post-workout pains. Even if you don’t have time to get in a full sweat session, research shows just 20-minutes of activity per day can help with stress levels. So go out for a walk, run around with the kids, or sign up for a fitness class. It doesn’t matter your method — just get active!
Balance Your Diet
What you eat and drink throughout the day impacts mood and anxiety. Certain foods contain vitamins and minerals that help your brain handle stress better. To de-stress, look to eat foods high in B vitamins, protein, healthy fats, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods like raw nuts, avocado, legumes, bananas, leafy greens, and dark chocolate are great for fighting the blues. Green tea has also been shown to promote relaxation through the amino acid theanine.
On the contrary, there are a handful of foods that may contribute to increasing stress levels. Avoid foods high in added sugars, processed ingredients, caffeine, alcohol, and simple carbs. These are things like doughnuts, chips, sugary coffee drinks, greasy fast food, and soda.
While you may just feel like bundling up and being alone, spending time with loved ones can really boost your mood! Laughing will increase oxygen in your body, stimulate your heart, and cause your brain to produce feel-good endorphins. Furthermore, spending time with friends creates a sense of security, self worth, and belonging.
Spend Time Away from Screens
Put down your phone and close your laptop! Studies have found that too much screen time can result in sleep deprivation, stress, and mental health issues. It can be hard to step away, but try to take frequent screen breaks throughout the day and disconnect at least an hour prior to bedtime.
Yes, something as simple as breathing can help manage stress! The way you breathe affects your whole body. Short shallow breaths are linked to an increased heart rate and high blood pressure. On the flip side, breathing deeply helps us to calm down, lowering both the heart rate and blood pressure. Experts have found that breathing exercises provide an extra boost of oxygen that helps to reduce tension and relieve anxiety.
Buy a Plant
Potted plants are extremely beneficial to your indoor air quality, making it easier and cleaner to breathe. Here are some of the best plants to keep in your home as air purifiers. Not only do plants help to clean the air, but experts have found that keeping greenery around further affects your well-being. Potted plants have been found to lower blood pressure, increase attentiveness, and lower anxiety.
Find Stillness Daily
Meditation has been proven to help reduce stress levels and find peace of mind. Best of all, it can be practiced on your own almost anywhere! Having a hard time getting started? There are a number of meditation and relaxation apps that can help.
Not into meditation? There are other ways you can find stillness and de-stress. Try listening to your favorite music, reading a book, or taking a hot bath. Focus on clearing your mind and relaxing.
Do you get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep per night? Adults that are not sleeping enough may suffer from less energy, weak attentiveness, unhealthy food cravings, and low tolerance to deal with stressful situations. Make sure you are getting plenty of quality sleep each night to help combat anxiety and de-stress. Lately I have been incorporating Moon Brew from Mind Your Manna into my routine. It’s brewed with ingredients that are known for their abilities to relieve stress, reduce restlessness, and soothe your stomach in preparation for sleep. Interested in trying it? Use discount code RAINBOWL and save 15% from their website!
Using these tips can help you relax and de-stress naturally. This in turn will benefit your health in a number of ways!