8 Natural Ways to Manage Stress
A whopping 77% of people report that their stress levels are so severe that they affect their physical health, and 73% report that their mental health is impacted. In our fast-paced society full of endless to do lists and little time for self-care, stress is a common problem. Fortunately, there are a number of healthy, natural, and lifestyle-based techniques that can help us manage our stress levels.
Left unchecked, stress can contribute to a variety of health issues. Common effects of pro-longed stress include:
Overeating or Undereating
Muscle Tension or Pain
Irritability or Anger
Sadness or Depression
High Blood Pressure
Drug or Alcohol Misuse
Change in Sex Drive
Symptoms of stress can impact your health mentally and physically.
Read on to learn about our top 8 tips to manage stress!
Deep Breathing Exercises - Did you know that by simply taking deep breaths with long, slow exhales, it actually signals your brain to relax? Breathing deeply is a simple yet highly effective way you can lower your stress level. The best part is that you can do it anywhere, at any moment. If chronic stress is wearing on you, make it a point to stop throughout the day to take a few deep, mindful breaths. We recommend doing it when you first wake up (before you hop on your phone or begin getting ready, on your lunch break, when you get home from work (especially if you had to deal with crazy traffic to get there!). By setting aside a few minutes throughout the day to focus on taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths, you will find your tension is eased, your stress levels are lower, and your feelings of presence and calm are higher.
Acupuncture - Clinical studies have found that acupuncture promotes balance in the nervous system, and can help people struggling with stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and depression Furthermore, research has found that acupuncture positively impacts brain and neuronal activity, and the limbic system - it actually shuts down stress regions in the brain. What’s more, acupuncture promotes positive mood, energy, restful sleep, and immune function. Ready to feel the results for yourself? Book a Maitland acupuncture appointment now!
Vitamins - Vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to stress, mood, and overall health. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet leaves many people deficient in these vital nutrients. Aim for a nutrient-rich diet, and consider a high quality supplement if your levels are low. Be sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist to address specific concerns. Contact us to learn about our selection of high quality vitamin and mineral supplements!
Eating a Healthy and Balanced Diet - Nutrition is the foundation of health and wellbeing - this includes stress. Certain nutrients can impact stress and the body’s ability to manage it. Help support the mind and body by incorporating healthy fats like avocado, fish, pastured eggs, and grass-fed meats. And of course remember to get your lean means, veggies, and probiotic-rich foods.
Drinking a Cup of Tea - If you’re feeling stressed, take a time-out and soothe yourself with a warm cup of your favorite tea. Mint, passionflower, barley tea, and green tea are a few of our relaxing faves. Green tea in particular has something in it called L-theanine which has been found to support alpha brainwaves, which are associated with calm focus.
Staying Hydrated - In addition to making you feel hungry, dehydration has been shown to negatively affect mood, stress, and functioning. Be sure to get the recommended 8 glasses of water a day to stave off stress and promote health.
Movement - One fantastic natural stress buster is exercise! Working out releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Exercise is a great way to naturally manage stress as well as boost mood, energy, weight loss, and overall health.
Vitamin B12 Injections - As mentioned, B vitamins can have an impact on stress. As we age, we tend to need more vitamin B12. Deficiencies in this essential nutrient can cause many issues including headaches, cognitive and mood issues, anemia, extreme fatigue, dizziness, and muscle weakness. The most absorbable option for vitamin B12 is via injection. Potential benefits of getting vitamin B12 injections include reduced stress, restful sleep, weight management, increased energy, enhanced focus, and improved immune system function. Schedule an appointment for injection therapy with your favorite Maitland acupuncturist!