Natural Ways to Relieve Stress

By Tuesday January 28th, 2014Health & Wellness, Lifestyle

I spent a long time feeling scattered and stressed, running from one thing to the next, and multi-tasking at every spare moment in-between. If you are tired of feeling worn down from the daily stressors in your life and want a little support to get you through work deadlines, unpleasant bosses, and or juggling class, errands, kids, and more. Keep reading. I found solace in some natural stress relieving techniques that I practice when ever I get a minute: driving, walking, waiting in line, on the bus, or in the morning before I start my day. Here are a few techniques that you can experiment with for your own stress relief.

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

2. Alternate Nostril breathing:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
  • Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.
  • Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.
  • Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.Try completing 5-10 rounds and see how you feel.

*Above are the basics. What I learned in yoga teacher training and what Dr. Sara Gottfried recommends for reducing stress. Here is a full Nadi Shodhan Pranayama description if you are interested in a more traditional option.

3. Herbal Therapies:

  • Adaptogens – Adaptogens are herbs, flowers, roots, berries, and barks that enhance our ability to deal with emotional, physical, and environmental stress.
  • Nervines – Nervines are herbs, flowers, roots, berries, and barks that sooth, calm, relax, and strengthen the nervous system.

4.  Regulating Cortisol Levels naturally to boost energy and relieve stress:

  • Natural Ways to Raise Low Cortisol Levels:
  1. African dance
  2. Chocolate
  • Natural Ways to Lower Elevated Cortisol Levels:
  1. Chanting
  2. Meditation
  3. Massage
  4. Acupuncture
  5. Gratitude

References:
Gottfried, Sara, (2013). The Hormone Cure. New York, NY: Simon &Schuster, Inc.
Winston, David, Steven Maines, (2007). Adaptogens. Roachester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Chevallier, Andrew, (2000). The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley.

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