There’s no denying it’s a stressful time of year right now. The wintertime blues are setting in, the holidays are on the horizon, and that election…
Instead of sitting around biting your nails or letting your mind race with negative thoughts, I have five stress-busting tips you can use to calm your nerves, lift your spirits, and get on with your day.
I’ve written about magnesium before in this post on natural sleeping tips. Magnesium induces muscle relaxation, which can help both with sleep and tension from stress.
Here are a few ways to use magnesium:
Yoga is an awesome stress buster, but if you don’t have time for it, here’s a quick pose that has similar benefits: Put your feet up on the wall. This reverses the flow of blood in your body, which in turn calms the nervous system. To get into this position, lay on the floor near a wall and scoot your hips as close to the wall as you can. Swing your legs up to rest on the wall. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the sensation for a few minutes.
This is a tip I brought up in a previous post on healing rituals you can do to start your day. When we’re stressed, our bodies go into fight or flight response, which activates rapid, shallow breathing. This evolutionary adaptation is designed to keep us safe from harm, but in the circumstances that we experience it today, it’s not good for us. The 4-7-8 method of breathing, coined by Dr. Weil, can help restore slower, deeper breathing.
Try this breathing exercise:
Sweaty workouts stimulate the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system which puts us in a more relaxed and restful state. You only need 30 minutes of exercise a day to feel the benefits. Whether it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood, a beat-bumping Soul Cycle class, or a run in the woods, aerobic exercise can go a long way in maintaining calm even during stressful times.
Smiling is a simple psychological trick that can rewire our brains to be more positive. When you notice that you’re feeling stressed or anxious, take a moment to acknowledge how you feel and then put a smile on your face! There are a number of studies that have shown smiling actually makes you happier, and if you’re around others, chances are it’ll make them happier too.
I love essential oils. They’re a potent way to change how you think and feel in a number of ways — and fast. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I turn to lavender essential oil. Lavender’s calming and relaxing properties promote peace and ease feelings of tension.
Here’s how you can use it:
My biggest piece of advice? Recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or tense and take action before it prolongs. The faster you can return your body to a relaxed state, the less negative side effects of stress you’ll experience — including heart issues, digestive upset, muscle tension, and much, much more. Try out a few of these tips, see which works for you, and keep them in your arsenal the next time you’re feeling a bit too on edge.
Loving these tips? Then you’ll enjoy these other related posts:
Kristin Thomas is a health coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner specialized in helping women with hormone, digestion, and autoimmune health concerns. Having gone through these health challenges herself, she now helps clients find their own path to complete wellness through practical and natural diet and lifestyle changes.
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