Stress Less - 5 All-Natural Ways to Calm Down

February 28, 2018

Stress is inevitable. We’ve all been there. Life is messy and we get hit with all kinds of stressors, whether it be tight deadlines at work, friction with other people, even traffic on the way home. Those extra pressures cause a physical reaction in your body. You can feel your heartbeat quicken, your blood pressure rise, your senses heighten. It’s not a great feeling, but there are some natural steps you can take to alleviate it.

Here are our top 5 ways to stress less and stay calm through the day:

1. Yoga

Incorporating a regular yoga practice into your daily routine is a great way to give yourself the tools to be able to handle stress. Even a 15-minute practice is a great way to center your mind and body before heading out into the world. Whether you practice at home or in a studio, just try to find a quiet corner, find your breath, and stretch. You’ll feel so much more equipped for the day ahead.

Yoga is also a great way to reduce your stress through the day. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a couple of minutes, get your heart above your head in Child’s Pose, and breathe deeply. This simple pose quiets your mind and benefits your nervous & lymphatic systems.

2. Natural Ingredients

It is well-known that aromatherapy is a major player in alternative medicine. The power of scent is incredible, and essential oils can be used in a number of ways. Diffusing, applying topically and even ingesting some oils can be a wonderful way to alleviate stress and calm down. Always check with your doctor before applying oils topically or ingesting them incase of any allergies.

Here are a couple of our favorites:

Lavender - helps to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Its soothing scent can help you to relax, and if you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s one of the best natural ways to improve your rest.

Chamomile - Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans used chamomile flowers for all sorts of ailments including nausea, rashes, insomnia, and more. Chamomile can also help with heartburn, allergies, digestion issues, and even menstrual cramps. Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea to relax yourself as the day winds down.

We love all of the products from Mr. B’s Necessities. They offer a number of all-natural essential oil blends and kits to kick-start your aromatherapy journey!

3. Breathe

Learning a few simple breathing exercises can really help you to calm down when you start to feel stress. These can easily be practiced at your desk, in your car, on the bus, wherever you are, without any accessories. Try out two of our go-to breathing exercises:

Square Breathing:

Close your eyes. Inhale slowly for the count of 6 seconds. Hold your breath for 6 seconds. Exhale with control for 6 seconds. Hold your breath for 6 seconds. Repeat this cycle 5 times. With each section of the breath, visualize drawing the lines of a square. It helps, trust me!

Alternate Nostril Breathing:

  • Place the forefinger and middle finger of your right hand between your eyebrows. Rest your thumb on your right nostril and ring finger on your left nostril. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths.
  • Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale slowly. At the top of your breath, close your left nostril so that your nose is plugged, hold for 2-3 seconds. Open your right nostril and exhale with control, pause for 2-3 seconds at the end of your breath.
  • Then, inhale through your right nostril, close your right nostril at the top of your breath, hold for 2-3 seconds, release your left nostril and exhale with control. At the bottom of your breath hold again for 2-3 seconds. Repeat this cycle 5-10 times, allowing your mind to follow your breath.

4. Keep a Journal

Keeping a journal is a great way to clear your emotions, generate clarity, put the past to rest, create balance in life, express gratitude for what you have, and allow inner reflection. Writing down thoughts, ideas, dreams, hopes, fears, and frustrations gives you a chance to get the thoughts out of your head so you can revisit them at a more opportune moment.

Get yourself a journal you love and start the practice of writing something, anything, in it each day. You may just release your inner writer!

5. Take a Hot Bath & Light a Scented Candle

At the end of a tough day, nothing is more relaxing than a hot bath by candlelight. We love the Level Naturals Soy Candle from the Winter 2018 box, which has a beautiful lavender and chamomile scent (Hello, essential oils!) and gives off the most relaxing, golden glow! If baths aren’t your thing, make yourself a nice cup of chamomile tea, light a candle, and pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read!

A few simple acts of self-care and the use of some really great tools can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety. While these will work for some, not all anxiety disorders are the same. If you sense that you’re dealing with an anxiety disorder and need some help managing it, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional! No person is perfectly equipped to deal with all of life’s pressures, so seeking a coach for some guidance is an incredible step to living a more balanced life.

Do you have any natural stress-reducing tips? Let us know!

Sarah is a travel writer, citizen of the world and lover of the Pacific Northwest and tacos. When not writing she can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring with her dog, Otto. Read about her adventures on her blog Sarah Seize the World and follow her on Instagram.