Stress affects everyone and is an emotional and physical response to pressures, expectations and situations we are confronted with on a daily basis. Each individual reacts to stress on many different levels and may develop certain undesirable patterns that are a direct result of anxiety and stress. For instance, insomnia from stress is a common result of continual exposure to difficulties in life and may become chronic if not addressed.
Fortunately, there are some tried and true natural remedies for anxiety and stress that if employed routinely will serve to ease the anxiety, tension, and sleep difficulties that are associated with stress.
Take Care Of The Body
When stress is an abundant factor in everyday life, the body reacts by tensing muscles which in turn can cause headaches, backaches and joint pain. Trying to relax becomes next to impossible and sleep patterns are interrupted.
One of the natural remedies for the physical symptoms of stress is routine exercise. Getting into the exercise habit will reduce stressful feelings, improve circulation and strengthen muscles. The increased oxygen intake that aerobic exercise provides is just what a stressed out body is craving for. Start with a half hour brisk walk three to four days a week, then work up to an hour walk four to five days a week. Positive results will be experienced as worked muscles relax easier and normal sleep patterns can be restored.
Tend To The Mind
Inordinate amounts of stress can wreak havoc on emotions. Knowing how to handle those inevitable stress-filled episodes in life can help to reduce the impact they can cause.
Deep breathing before and after times of stress can ease its side effects that are anxiety and tension. Remembering the breath and how to slow it down by breathing deeply can be done at any time during a stressful day. It clears the mind, slows a rapid pulse, and induces calmness. With excessive anxiety the brain releases stress signals that put emotions on alert. By taking control of the breath the effects of stress can be significantly reduced and composure returned.
Connect with Nature
There are many scientific studies which indicate that time spent in nature is beneficial to your health and to relieving anxiety and stress. Natural settings were shown to have a positive effect on connectedness to nature, attentional capacity, positive emotions, and ability to reflect on a life problem.
As part of taking care of the body and tending to the mind, breathing deeply while walking in nature is a path to a sense of well-being, a higher overall level of energy, and positive feelings. To release stress and relieve anxiety invest more time in nature and you will find yourself more relaxed and at ease.
But do you find the demands on your time, with work and personal obligations, make it less likely for you to engage with nature? And that seemingly insurmountable barriers prevent you from making the lifestyle or behavioral changes necessary for living a stress free lifestyle?
Well, it is important to know you’re not alone and that when it comes to engaging with nature for stress relief if you can not be in it then you can be with it. ‘Simulated’ nature, such as nature relaxation videos, can make a difference and make you feel very relaxed and in turn relieve your stress:
“Researchers Kjellgren and Buhrkall asked people suffering from stress to go out into natural environments and relax for half an hour. After their relaxation, the participants felt connected to nature, had a better sense of well-being and a higher overall level of energy and positive feelings than other participants who relaxed for 30 minutes watching a nature simulation indoors. A key finding of their research was that both environments—real and simulated nature—helped to reduce stress. Relaxing au natural just seems to give people even more energy and restorative effects. But even a simulated natural environment can be powerful.” *
Take care of your body, tend to your mind, and connect with real nature or ‘simulated’ nature and you can create states of overwhelming peace and relaxation.
* Kjellgren, A., & Buhrkall, H. (2010). A comparison of the restorative effect of a natural environment with that of a simulated natural environment Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30 (4), 464-472 DOI