More and more of us live in varying states of stress and anxiety. Stress refers to a number of biological changes that can be triggered by any disturbance to our normal physiology. The body responds the same to positive or negative stressors.
Here are some ways to manage stress naturally:
When we are under stress, we immediately think that we need to have coffee or caffeine to “keep us going”. This is not always the case. Caffeine can have a pronounced effect on sleep, causing insomnia and restlessness.
In addition to coffee, tea, and soft drinks, look for hidden sources of caffeine such as chocolate, cough and cold medicine, and other over-the-counter medicine.
Minimize Blood Sugar Changes
Although sugar can give a burst of energy, it’s short-lived and can cause uneven blood sugar levels. This can disrupt sleep in the middle of the night as blood sugar levels fall. The most significant internal stressor is blood sugar fluctuation.
Minimize blood sugar changes by:
- Eating regularly – no skipping meals!
- Eating a little protein with each meal
- Eating low glycemic index foods
Increasing fiber intake: Fibre is great because it helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels already within the normal range and keeps you feeling full longer.
In short, choose whole food snacks, steer clear of sweets and balance your blood sugar levels.
Boost Your Mood with Aromatic Plants
Smell is one of your strongest senses – it influences your memory, alertness, and emotions. Whether you’re feeling sad, stressed, or anxious, inhaling the fragrance of essential oils from plants such as lavender, bergamot, and lemon may help improve your mood instantly.
The aromatic chemicals within such plants act by stimulating receptors in your nose to signal the emotional center of your brain.
Although the scientific evidence showing exactly how they affect your body is limited, the following aromatic plants are used successfully in aromatherapy for their mood-boosting essential oils.
- Bergamot: A spicy citrus aroma that calms stress and anxiety while improving mood.
- Chamomile: Well known as a nighttime tea, its aroma supports a calm and relaxed state.
- Clary Sage: A flowering herb with a scent that encourages feelings of well-being and calms the nerves.
- Lavender: This herb looks and smells beautiful while helping to calm, relax, and improve mood.
- Lemon: A fresh, clean aroma used to stimulate and revive the mind.
- Orange: The uplifting, sweet aroma of orange fosters a positive mood while helping to reduce feelings of anxiety.
- Peppermint: A cool and refreshing fragrance that promotes a calm and focused mood. The oil is also a known carminative. Try Peppermint Oil softgels by Webber Naturals to help relieve occasional intestinal gas pain.
- Rose: The sweet floral notes of rose can uplift the mood and encourage feelings of happiness.
- Ylang Ylang: A sweet-smelling bouquet that aids relaxation and a positive mood.
Daily Exercise and Relaxation
Exercise is an excellent stress-reliever. Even if it’s just a short walk, it can help to get blood circulating and relax tense muscles. Also, the simple act of pausing for a moment several times a day to take deep breaths and consciously relax, can be quite effective in letting go of stress and promoting a more peaceful frame of mind.
Herbs & Vitamins
- Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb. It helps the mind and body adapt to, and recover from, stress. It also enhances mental clarity, increases energy, relieves anxiety during times of stress and helps support mental stamina.
- Magnesium is a natural sedative. A deficiency of magnesium can result in difficulty sleeping, occasional constipation, muscle tension, anxiety, and irritability.