Stress has silent, but incredibly harmful, impacts on our health, happiness and our beauty. It weakens our immune system, can lead to weight gain and causes premature hair graying. Calming our mind, relieving stress and banishing depression is the first step to happiness, healthiness and beauty and here are some ways to do just that.
1. One of the simplest natural ways to reduce stress is by taking Ginseng.
Ginseng provides additional support to the adrenal glands and helps to create more hormones that help to reduce stress.
2. A study that appeared in a Korean medical journey in the Spring of 2004 found that applying a few drops of peppermint oil to the forehead and temples reduced physical and perceived symptoms of stress and anxiety.
3. Passionflower is one of the most effective herbs for relieving stress according to a 1985 study. Taken as a juice, as an infusion,
in capsules or as a tincture passionflower has been found to be equally as effective as oxazepan (a standard drug for anxiety and stress).
4. Other natural herbs that can be used to eliminate stress include: St John’s Wort, lavender, valerian and licorice root.
5. Aside from herbal remedies, meditation is another way that relaxes the mind and body. It doesn’t need to involve complicated mantras; it can simply be as simple as sitting quietly by yourself and breathing in a slow, controlled fashion. Visualize breathing in
white light and exhaling black smoke. 5-15 minutes of meditation per day can have a profound impact on stress.
6. Progressive muscle relaxation is a popular relaxation technique that was created by Edmund Jacobson in the late 1930s. Because your muscles become tense and tight throughout the day, this technique teaches you how to slowly relax every muscle in your body to reduce tension and anxiety. To begin progressive muscle relaxation lay down somewhere quiet and comfortable.
Breathe slowly then tense and relax each part of your body from bottom to top one at a time. For example, start with your toes, then your feet and calves, moving up to your thighs, buttocks and so on.
7. Acupressure is another natural stress relief method. Acupressure uses many principals from traditional Chinese medicine that can be implemented by anyone at home. The same acupoints used in acupuncture can be used in this
technique, which requires pressure instead of needles to get the desired effect. A common acupressure point to relief stress, for example, is found on the largest crease on the inner wrist, in line with the little finger. Acupoint 15 is found on the middle finger just above the nail on the side closest to the thumb. To use an acupoint simply press on the spot with your finger for about a minute.
8. Enjoying a long, hot bath is another great way to achieve total relaxation and calm. Hot water has the ability to soothe tight muscles and joints, as well as reduce stress and tension in the body. You may also find a hot bath can help you sleep better at night. To make a bath even more enjoyable try some calming music, soft lighting and add some lavender oil.
9. If you are feeling depressed with no obvious explanation then you may be deficient in vitamin D. Try to get more vitamin D into your diet from foods like fish, eggs, dairy products, animal meat and fortified cereals. Plus, get more time in the sun as sun rays are one of the most important sources of the vitamin.
10. Tryptophan is an amino acid necessary to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. Studies show links between depression and low levels of tryptophan, especially in women; and it was shown to be better than placebo for treating depression in two small studies. L-tryptophan and 5-HTP are both tryptophan supplements, simply being different stages in the production of serotonin. There are, however, some concerns about the purity of L-tryptophan supplements, some of which have been found to contain contaminants and impurities. CAUTION: 5-HTP should not be taken with St. John’s Wort or SAMe.
11. Foods are one of the best ways to improve mood, and these mood enhancing foods are the most effective for feeling a million dollars. Turkey is high in phenylalanine which the brain converts into dopamine which has been found to elevate mood and increase motivation. Coffee boosts metabolism and energy levels while also activating the brains pleasure centers making it an effective mood enhancer. Milk contains tryptophan which makes serotonin – often referred to as the brain’s Prozac.· Kale contains high levels of folate. Low levels have been linked to depression so upping your folate levels will help to keep negative moods at bay. Foods that taste good trigger the production of endorphin’s so eat foods you enjoy to enhance your mood.
12. Drop a few drops of rose, clary sage and ylang ylang essential oils into your bath in the evening for a mood enhancing, uplifting blend.