Stress is a normal response of our body to dangers. And to a certain extent, we can say that stress, anxiety and fear are important for our safety. Stress in fact prepares the body to react quickly to dangers and unpleasant situations, thus triggering the flight or fight response which keeps us alive and safe. Stress becomes harmful only when it exceeds the normal limits, turns chronic and moves beyond our control.
The human body and mind are not designed to handle constant stress. Hence it breaks down under the onslaught of chronic stress, leading to health conditions like cardiovascular problems, diabetes, headaches, ulcers, skin rashes and allergies, palpitation, back pain and hair loss, just to name a few.
Medications used to handle stress come with a lot of side-effects, the reason why they should be avoided to the extent possible. However, there are various natural remedies which can be as effective, without any harmful effects.
The following simple relaxation technique can provide instant relief from stress better than any medication. Find a comfortable and quite place where you can sit or lie down without disturbance. Turn off disturbing lights if any. Shut your eyes and completely concentrate on the body.
Start with the toes. First tense them up by curling them inwards as hard as possible, hold them for nearly 10 seconds. Consciously relax them without holding back. Continue the same procedure for feet, legs, stomach, fingers, hands, neck and finally the face. In this way you will be able to send relaxation message to every part of the body and clear away the stress in the process.
Once the body is relaxed completely you can concentrate on the mind. Choose a positive phrase like “Everything is fine”, remain focused on it as you breathe in and breathe out deeply. Chase away unwanted thoughts by getting back to the positive phrase. Repeating the process once every day is a sure way to keep away stress, anxiety and depression.
Since the time of ancient Greeks, chamomile has been one of the best stress relievers in addition to its many other healing properties.
Add 2 tbsp of dried chamomile flowers to boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and drink 1 cup of chamomile tea twice or thrice a day to keep both the body and mind relaxed and stress free.
Adding honey will increase and taste and nutritional value of the concoction.
Soaking in bathwater to which herbs like chamomile, lavender and valerian has been added leaves behind a soothing effect, relieving stress.
Humor is not just a laughable matter anymore, since scientific research has found substantial proof of chemical changes taking place in the body to give him/her the sensation of well being. Find a way to enjoy life and have a good belly laugh, through whatever you find amusing like funny movies, television shows, being with good humored friend or reading jokes.
Aromatherapy has now been accepted as one of the best ways to handle stress. Due to increasing stress among its population, Japan has resorted to large scale Aromatherapy, where volatile essential oils are being pumped into buildings to keep employees calm and relaxed. Dentists use orange essential oil along with the laughing gas to soothe down the tensed nerves among patients and relieve stress.
Lavender essential oil is a great relaxant, which can be as effective as any sedative and tranquilizer.