Originally published February 17 2011
Deal with stress naturally
by Shona Botes
(NaturalNews) Many people resort to using over-the-counter, chemical stress relievers, but these are neither a safe nor healthy solution to dealing with or eliminating stress. These tend to cause a lot more problems than those that they are used to treat. Thankfully, there are many natural alternatives that will help you deal with stress that are far safer and often a lot more cost-effective than chemical medication. An added benefit is that these result in very little to no nasty side-effects, unlike their chemical counterparts.
Stress presents itself in many forms: such as migraines, tension headaches, body pain, loss of or gain in appetite, depression, infections, high blood pressure, indigestion, fatigue, disturbances in sleep patterns, as well as many other symptoms. A lot of these are able to be dealt with by using safe, natural remedies.
Remedies used for stress relief can include dietary changes and exercise, along with the utilisation of herbal supplements and lifestyle changes where possible.
Exercise results in the depletion of adrenaline in our bodies which enables relaxation to take place. It also relaxes tensed muscles and distracts one's mind from whatever may be causing the stress. So if the relatives are driving you insane this season, take a walk or cycle for around 30 to 45 minutes, as this will also help to produce the beta endorphins which help to enable us to feel a sense of well-being. Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and Reiki are also wonderful channels for relieving stress.
Herbs such as kava kava, passion flower, valerian, skullcap, St Johns wort, chamomile, catnip, hops and rhodiola have also been used for many years to assist in relieving the symptoms of stress. A simple hot bath with your favourite essential oils added to it will also work wonders for relieving stress and helping you to relax. Pouring boiling water over a teaspoon of dried sage leaves and sweetening with raw honey if needed also makes a wonderful drink that will assist in relieving the symptoms of stress. A cup of hot milk with honey and cinnamon added to it works well for relaxation before bedtime.
Sprouts, alfalfa and black molasses have also been shown to be effective. Eliminating the use of caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants will also help to relieve stress, as these are known to deplete the B vitamin stores in our bodies, making us more susceptible to feeling the effects of stress. Smoking should also be eliminated completely. A diet high in organic fruits and vegetables as well as low in refined carbohydrates and sugars will also be beneficial in helping to reduce and eliminate the symptoms of stress.
Anti oxidants which will assist in the fight against stress include vitamin A, vitamin E, Ginkgo Biloba, and selenium. Aromatherapy oils such as ylang ylang, sandalwood, rosemary, tangerine, frankincense, chamomile, clary sage, marjoram, lavender, peppermint and rose oils are also effective tools, as they are also able to help the body relax and de-stress.
Always be sure to check with a homeopath or naturopath regarding the use of essential oils, as some of them may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding moms.
About the authorShona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here
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