How to lower your stress, naturally
We all know – and view with some combination of envy and resentment – those unflappable people who manage to float through life’s little challenges with nary a feather ruffled. Sadly, that innate spunkiness seems genetic – those of us predisposed toward stressing (a little at least) will always struggle with achieving Dude-like levels of serenity. The Lebowski gene does not run strong in our DNA, we are only humans after all, but do not despair! There are plenty of all-natural ways to decompress and get your balance back.
Exercise is the gift that keeps on giving: not only does it keep you in fighting shape, it’s a proven stress reliever. Whether you’re pounding out your frustrations on the pavement or the soccer pitch, or taking a long and thoughtful walk to clear your head, you’ll be amazed what regular physical activity can do for your peace of mind. Get your heart pumping by running, and you won’t have to worry about getting it pumping by stressing.
Yoga, Tai-Chi and more
Meditative physical disciplines like yoga and tai-chi do a lot more for you than keep you limber: the deliberate movements (and interesting contortions) are designed to clear your mind at least temporarily. It’s a means of escape that requires little more than a bit of floor space and quiet time.
You don’t need to drop a C-note on a professional masseuse or expensive massage oils to reap the benefits of human touch (though it’s certainly a nice treat every once in awhile!) Simply having a loved one rub your back in the evening should make that stress melt right away – and increase your physical bond with your mate, another great way to reduce causes of stress in your life.
Making sure to get enough of the right kind of sleep can be such a burden for a lot of us that it almost seems like a cause of stress in and of itself, but it’s still worth pursuing. Set a regular bedtime, don’t drink caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, and don’t go to bed right after eating or drinking alcohol. Make sure your sleeping area is dark, cool and quiet, and if you have the space, try not to use your bedroom for anything but sleeping – your bedroom shouldn’t be a dining room, a den or a common area if you can help it.
If you have your own proven natural stress relief tips, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Main image courtesy of Temari 09 from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.