Whatever it is that stresses you out, you can thank your cave-dwelling ancestors for those headaches, mood swings, and racing thoughts. Back then sticky palms were great for climbing, constricted blood vessels prevented blood loss in case of injury, and blood sugar surged to promote peak physical performance. A fight-or-flight response was extremely effective in the days of the saber tooth tiger, but in today’s world stress symptoms can further complicate a tough situation.

Being on red alert can help. College students’ “all-nighters” are a great example of how a stress response is helpful today. It isn’t only coffee that keeps them working through the night, stress facilitates insomnia. For them, insomnia is a performance enhancer. After midterms and finals, they get a nice break to crash and recoup.

Stress is a dangerous habit and an easy one to fall into given the pace of today’s work place and family environment. Doing for others all the time can deplete your body’s resources and disturb its balance. Constant stress can lead to migraine headaches, heart burn, infertility, skin problems, asthma, obesity, and chronic pain to name a few.

Know your stressors, so you can nip imbalance in the bud. Only you are able to tell when “it’s all too much” before it’s too late. You might not feel like yourself for a host of reasons. Maybe you’ve become a grouch or maybe your appetite has vanished. Stress has as many manifestations as it has triggers. Coping with the illness of a loved one and adapting to married life are very different scenarios, but both are severe stressors for many.

If you’re starting to feel frazzled, take time to remember yourself. Engaging your senses is the best way to center your focus and let outside demands drift away. These calming exercises should help stresses melt away:

– Take all that extra energy for a walk. It’s a great way to burn off the adrenaline educed by stress, and walking will release calming endorphins back into your brain. The same is true of all exercise. So, if you’re stressed–get moving!

– Aromatherapy on the go. Often, it’s impractical to taking time out for meditation at work, but a quick sniff of lavender oil is a proven stress buster.

– Try a candle flame meditation. Light a candle in a dimly lit room and find a comfortable position seated in front of it. Focus on the flame. Allow your thought to arise and pass by. You might imagine that they are lifted away by the burning flame.

– Bathe your troubles away. A hot bath does wonders for your body and mind. Let the warm water relax your muscles and ease your mind. Go a step further and incorporate scented candles to engage sight and smell. One more step to bliss: bring a bowl of berries and a glass of wine to the tub.

If you’ve been experiencing severe stress for a long period of time, the cycle can be more difficult to break. An appointment with a naturopathic doctor will take about an hour, so that you can discuss options that are most suited for your symptoms and lifestyle. Alternatives like massage, acupuncture, yoga exercises, dietary changes, or nutritional supplements are a few paths to elevating your well-being.

One Response to “Natural Stress Busters”

  1. Some good tips. Where are you located?

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