Stress can be such a nuisance. No one likes to feel anxious, sad, or just plain meh.
Too much stress can have a negative impact on our health too. I’m talking sleepless nights, cravings, fatigue, and even weight gain. Yikes!
Luckily there are some simple (and proven) ways to reduce stress naturally and you can do right now to reduce some of that stress in your life.
5 Ways to Reduce Stress Naturally
If you feel like your stress and anxiety are increasing, chances are you could benefit from some time outside.
Several smaller based studies suggest that spending time outdoors, camping, hiking, anything really, can relieve stress. I mean it makes sense. It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re admiring a breathtaking view you just hiked to.
Spending time outside probably means you’re getting some vitamin D, aka the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D plays a huge roll in how you feel. Low vitamin D levels are linked to higher instances of depression and fatigue so try to get some sun each day! Just don’t forget to use sun protection if you plan on being outside for long periods of time.
Eat The Right Foods
Surprise, surprise, what you eat has a big impact on stress!
Here are some tips when it comes to food and reducing stress:
- Complex carbs (like oatmeal) boost serotonin, a chemical in the brain that has a calming effect. Tropical fruit like pineapple can also boost serotonin naturally in the body and balance your mood.
- Foods high in vitamin C can negate the negative effects of cortisol, a major stress hormone. One study found that those who took vitamin c before a stressful situation had a lower rise in blood pressure and cortisol than those who didn’t take vitamin c. The subjects who took the vitamin reported feeling less stressed during the situation as well!
- Don’t forget to include healthy fats in your diet. Fats like omega 3s from fatty fish and certain nuts can help balance hormones in the body and reduce stress.
- Certain herbs and essential oils can also help calm the nerves. Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, chamomile, and ginseng aid the body to handle stress and reduce the effects of cortisol. If you’re looking for a supplement that contains these types of natural herbs, try IdealRaw Calm!
- Stress relief from your diet isn’t just about what you eat, but what you avoid as well. Try to limit sugary, highly processed foods as much as possible and watch your caffeine intake. These types of foods may sound comforting when you’re stressed, but they do more harm than good and can actually make stress worse in the long run.
Unwind with Yoga (Or Other Exercise)
There’s a reason why yoga has grown in popularity the past decade. It’s one of the best stress relievers out there!
Generally, all exercise is a great way to reduce stress. If yoga isn’t your jam, try going for a walk, jog, or a boxing class next time you feel your anxiety increase. Moving your body will release endorphins, calm the mind, and burning some extra calories is always a plus!
Spending time with family, friends, and loved ones can help you feel less stressed research says.
When you spend time with someone you trust and love, you can be open with them, express thoughts, and feel a sense of connection and support.
So next time you’re under pressure, call your mom, your best friend, or sit down with your spouse and unload a little. You’ll feel better!
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a journal, especially a gratitude journal, can have a huge impact on your stress levels.
A group of researchers conducted several studies on gratitude journaling and its impact on feelings and behavior.
In one study they found that students who kept a gratitude journal had, “Greater increases in determination, attention, enthusiasm, and energy” compared to a group who journaled about things that bothered them.
Another study found that adults who kept a weekly gratitude journal were more optimistic, exercised more, and experienced less physical pain.
Lastly, a study from China found that those who practiced an attitude of gratitude slept better and had fewer instances of anxiety and depression.
Wrapping It Up
Stress isn’t fun and it doesn’t help our health either!
Try incorporating some of these tips to your routine and you’ll find yourself a little less stressed and enjoying better health!
How do you relieve stress naturally? Share in the comments!