If you are feeling stressed on the inside it will show on the outside. Stress can show up on the skin's surface in the form of acne, oil or dehydration. Here are our top ten, natural stress busters.
Regular exercise will not only help keep you fit and healthy but is a great way to change your mood. Exercise decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases endorphins – the body’s natural feel good chemicals. When endorphins are boosted through exercise, your mood is naturally lifted. In addition to endorphins, exercise also releases adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine; other chemicals which work together to lighten your mood. Post workout you should feel calmer and happier.
Mindfulness is a form of self-awareness and focusing of attention that originates from Buddhist meditation. You can practice mindfulness every day by being more calmly aware of your own feelings, body and mind. By paying attention to your natural state and the challenges you are facing, you will be better placed to over come stress and anxiety. Try practising meditation for twenty minutes each morning or evening. Read our article on practicing meditation for further advice.
Soothing music can be a welcome distraction from every day life and help lift your mood and calm your mind. Try listening to music during your commute, exercise and in the office. It can make you more focussed and productive at work, or enhance an already relaxing experience, such as meditation, massage, yoga, walking or running.
Simply discussing anything that's on your mind with friends or loved ones can be a welcome release. Getting a second opinion can be enlightening and give you clarity and focus on how to overcome any issues. If you are feeling stressed at work, talk to your colleagues and let them know the pressure you are facing rather than ignoring the situation until it has escalated.
Getting enough sleep (eight hours is generally recommended) will give you physical and mental strength and allow you to make clearer judgement. Unfortunately, people who are stressed often suffer with insomnia. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at night and take a magnesium supplement. Magnesium naturally helps reduce the stress hormones, calming your mind and making it easier to sleep.
Drink plenty of fresh, pure water throughout the day to keep your mind and body healthy and hydrated. Water naturally helps flush out toxins to keep all your organs, including skin, healthy and clear. Dehydration can also lead to poor judgement and headaches.
Avoid access alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fatty foods that will give you a short burst of energy and heightened mood, but not equal sufficient long-term nutrition. Eat foods that give sustained energy throughout the day. Oats are great for breakfast and wholemeal bread, legumes or lean protein with plenty of veggies are great for lunch. Try nuts, fruits and even a healthy snack such as carrots and hummus. Antioxidant rich green tea is also a healthy stress buster.
You could also visit a naturopath or health store to try a herbal remedy to relieve the anxiety and tension related to stress. Recommended natural stress relievers include St John’s Wort, Passiflora incarnata, Scuttelaria laterifolia (Scullcap) and Valerian.
Pamper yourself now and again, whether that means a trip to your local spa for a relaxing aromatherapy massage, spot of retail therapy, nice dinner out, relaxing bath or glass of red wine to unwind. The essential oils used in aromatherapy have long been known to calm and soothe the mind. Try using essential oils in your bath water and aromatherapy candles around your home.
A leisurely walk in the fresh air is a great way to clear the mind and release stress. It gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and think about how to solve any problems away from others. If you are feeling stressed at work, take a break or go for a walk at lunch time.
Indulge in a good book and transport your mind to another world! Reading is not only relaxing and therapeutic but can also help you sleep.
Try relaxing with an all-natural, beautifully scented candle:
By Nina Weston