Anxiety is a common problem that affects millions of people every year; and stress is often a direct component of that anxiety. Incorporating the following practices and techniques into your daily routine may help to improve your quality of life, and should be the first step(s) you take in your effort to lower stress and anxiety levels.
1. Yoga Breathing
Focusing on your breath is a classic yoga breathing exercise. Since you can’t be anxious at the same time you are taking deep breaths, this technique is immediately relaxing. Deep breathing is easy to do, and is very effective in terms of reducing stress and anxiety.
Sit in a comfortable and quiet place, and close your eyes. Exhale completely through your mouth, then inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven, then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat this breathing exercise several times until you’re feeling calm.
2. A Simple Walk
Taking a long walk is a form of aerobic exercise that releases endorphins — and endorphins make you feel better. And although a walk around the city can certainly help with stress, nothing beats a quality stroll through nature – even if it’s in the local park. Engaging in physical activity, getting away from excessive noise and traffic, and keeping the body moving can all go a long way in terms of establishing and maintaining internal peace and calm. Sometimes, a 20-minute walk is all it takes to start feeling better.
3. Herbal Extracts
Herbs have been used for millennia to help improve people’s quality of life. The simple aromatic sensation and chemical action of many herbs and plant extracts can offer benefits that help relax an anxious mind and ease racing thoughts. Drinking quality chamomile tea a few times a day, for example, produces a relaxing effect on both the mind and body. Lavender oil is another popular herb that may help with stress. Place a few drops of lavender extract in a cup of boiling water, then gently inhale the aroma (but be sure not to scald yourself by getting too close to the steam). You can even apply a few drops of essential oil extract to your wrist or collarbone, and allow the aromatic terpenes to soothe and calm your mind. Other than tea and oils, eating quality, natural, plant-based foods in general may help to balance unstable stress levels.
4. Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation has been used for centuries by Buddhists, and it’s now becoming a relatively mainstream meditative technique for stress relief. This form of meditation is carried out by actively engaging in each passing moment; by focusing on and experiencing what is happening in your immediate surroundings – your breath, the sound of traffic in the distance, the hum of a refrigerator – you will begin to rid the mind of ongoing worries and fears that produce anxiety and stress. A daily meditation practice of even 10 minutes, in which you are mindfully aware and actively engaging in the present, can help reduce to stress that stems from negative thought patterns.
5. A Hot Bath
A soothing hot bath is always a great way to relax. And if you add a few drops of lavender oil and/or something like an aromatic PureKana CBD Bath Bomb, you can turn a basic bathroom environment into an otherworldly, spa-like experience. Also, adding Epsom salt may help to increase the calming effect of a hot bath. The hot water itself raises the body temperature, which may help to improve overall mood. Lastly, the hot water also helps to relieve muscle tension, which is often a direct cause of stress. Exposure to heat and warmth may even explain why exercising, drinking hot tea, sitting in a sauna, and sunbathing all help to improve emotional well-being.
6. Eat Quality, Nutritious, REAL Food
Many people eat when they feel stressed or anxious, but few realize that poor quality food can actually exacerbate stress and anxiety. It’s important to eat breakfast if you suffer from chronic or temporary anxiety, and you can also have a healthy snack in the middle of the day, such as dark chocolate or walnuts. Foods that contain the essential nutrient choline (such as eggs), may help to lower anxiety. In fact, studies actually show that a deficiency in choline can result in higher levels of anxiety. In general, eating quality, healthy, “real” food (as opposed to packaged or highly processed foods) can work wonders in lowering stress levels and stabilizing emotional well-being.
Summary: Natural Techniques to Help Lower Stress and Anxiety
By incorporating one or more of the above practices into your daily life, you may be able to tangibly reduce anxiety and stress levels, and feel more emotionally balanced. All in all, make a conscious effort to treat your body the way it deserves to be treated – eat well, get plenty of quality rest, keep the body moving and engaged in physical activity, and you’ll begin to see that anxiety and stress do not have to be a major component of your life.