Natural Therapies for Relieving Stress and Anxiety

Stress is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days. Everything seems to “stress us out” and with good reason as we live in a very stressful world! The term “stress” refers to any reaction to a physical, mental, social, or emotional stimulus that requires a response or alteration to the way we perform, think, or feel. Obvious sources of stress include deadlines at work, relationships, financial issues, and much more. Other sources are less obvious and include things like traffic, noise, crowds, pain, extreme temperatures or weather changes, unwelcomed changes, and much more. Some people handle stress well but for others it can be devastating. Stress can cause fatigue, chronic headaches, irritability, changes in appetite, memory loss, low self-esteem, withdrawal, teeth grinding, cold hands, and much more. Here are some nutritional and natural therapies that can help in relieving stress and bring peace to your busy life.

  • Chamomile is a gentle relaxant. It is a good nerve tonic, soothing to the digestive tract, and a pleasant sleep aid.
  • Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that helps to act as a sedative and nerve tonic. Passionflower is also calming and a potent addition to any antistress formula.
  • Include plenty of “good fats” in your diet from foods like avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts, and fresh fish. Get your omega-3 fatty acids by adding flaxseed oil to your daily smoothies. Make sure you pick a good quality organic oil that has been expeller cold-pressed to retain all of the nutrients. I recommend using Barlean’s Organic Flaxseed Oil.
  • Eat plenty of leafy green veggies, fresh fruits, brown rice, and raw nuts.
  • Stay hydrated during the day by drinking plenty of water. One of the signs of dehydration is anxiety, so it is important to keep your fluids up. Avoid processed and refined foods full of sugar.
  • Eat a diet that is composed of 50 to 70 percent raw foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables not only supply valuable vitamins and minerals, but are rich in flavonoids. Many of these flavonoids scavenge and neutralize dangerous free radicals in the body.
  • Avoid processed foods and all food that create stress on the digestive system. These foods include artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, fried foods, junk foods, sugar, white flour products, and foods that contain preservatives.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine as it can contribute to nervousness and will disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and any mood-altering drugs. These substances may relieve stress temporarily but they do nothing to really address the underlying cause.
  • Get regular exercise. Go for walks in the morning and evenings. Take up yoga, bike riding, Pilates, swimming, or any activity that you enjoy!
  • Practice deep breathing. Holding your breath and slowing releasing it is good for helping you get through stressful situations.
  • Monitor your internal conversations. The way that we talk to ourselves can play a big part in how we feel and act. Start utilizing positive self talk.
  • Aromatherapy is wonderful for helping calm and stabilize your moods. Essential oils affect both the mind and the body. Some that are very good for relaxation include chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood, lavender, and sweet marjoram.
  • Try not to take life so seriously. Learn to laugh!