5 Natural Ways to Reduce Stress

You have to “thank” our modern, fast-paced lifestyles for much of the chronic stress present in our daily lives — if you constantly feel low or fatigued, and there’s a heavy weight on your chest, and you’re suffering from back and joint pains, then these are probably manifestations of chronic stress.

You can pop a pill, or you can try any of these powerful and natural ways to reduce stress—the latter has no side-effects, only sheer enjoyment. Read on.

1. Sleep

Respect the value of having a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep—specially the chronic kind—can leave you feeling highly irritable and inefficient in your tasks, not to mention moody. It can also severely degrade your mental focus and alertness. If you’ve been habitually foregoing sleep for the sake of chasing your deadlines or completing some overtime work, then you’re doing so at the expense of the immediate future. Prioritize getting enough sleep—arrange or plan your work and life schedule if you must.

2. Have a good massage

Massage would not have been “invented” thousands of years ago if it didn’t work. Since ancient times, massage has been used as a powerful stress reliever. Regardless of the different beliefs of different cultures regarding the mechanics of massage and how it works for the human body, the bottom line is: it immediately feels good. In the hands of a highly trained masseuse, the tension in your muscles can be instantly removed and pain significantly lessened, not to mention the improvement in your blood’s circulation.

3. Eat food and drink beverages high in anti-oxidants

A quick anti-stress fix is a glass of chilled green tea. There are foods that burden our body with more stress, such as those that are highly processed or refined, or have too much sugar. Moreover, common stimulants such as caffeine are actually highly stressful. Avoiding these types of food and beverages can significantly remove much of the stress present in your life. Meanwhile, you should try some good sources of anti-oxidants, such as chamomile, valerian root, kava-kava, Siberian ginseng, gotu kola, St. John’s wort, or passion flower.

4. Meditate

Meditation has been known since ancient times to calm the mind and body, but quite recently, even science has found strong evidence of how precisely is meditation one of the best natural ways to reduce stress. For one, regularly performing meditation has been shown to increase the body’s production of certain important hormones that keep our mood stable, such as GABA, DHEA and serotonin.

High levels of such hormones have been directly linked to having a sense of well-being and a general feeling of good health, and regular meditation appears to consistently boost the production of such hormones. Set aside a few minutes each day to meditate in a quiet spot in your home, breathe deeply and slowly, while visualizing yourself in a place of absolute calm.

5. Dance

You can exercise or perform some aerobic routine, but dancing has several benefits: it keeps your blood pumping, boosts your body’s production of “feel-good” hormones, and leaves you a deep sense of calm—all while you’re having a lot of fun. Walking, jogging or working out at a gym are good, too, but if you can turn on the MP3 player and start dancing to your favorite tunes for 30 minutes to an hour (or even more), then by all means have at it.

Dancing is one of the most enjoyable and natural ways to reduce stress, and with the advent of modern gaming consoles (such as Sony’s PS3 and Nintendo’s Wii), you can dance “professionally” even when you’re alone by playing video games such as the hit ‘Everybody Dance’ on the PS3.

Source: Operation Meditation;

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