More and more people have started turning to natural remedies for all sorts of ailments. One of the more common reasons is to combat stress and anxiety. We explore seven ways that mother nature can help.
Aromatherapy is an age-old treatment, stemming from oils extracted from mother nature’s bounty. The very essence of the scent of each oil has the power to heal, or stimulate the mind. Certain oils such as lavender and orange are known for decreasing stress levels in people.
Oils can be used in room diffusers, aromatherapy jewellery, and candles. They can also be used more directly in conjunction with other therapies such as massage and reflexology.
Massage, in itself, is a soothing and relaxing experience. According to some studies, a 60-minute massage can lower the stress hormone cortisol, by up to 30%. This was after just one session. People who received massage therapy treatments for twelve weeks showed a 50% long term reduction in anxiety symptoms.
From a scientific perspective, the benefits of massage are likely related to changes in EEG activity (electrical activity in the brain), decreased cortisol, and increased activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. These all act together to calm the brain and body during stressful times.
It’s a relative newcomer to treatments for stress and anxiety. Mostly due to the conflicting information that has been published over the years. When someone mentions CBD oils, the first thought that people have is of smokey rooms, with a bunch of giggling people somewhere in the haze.
It’s a total contradiction to what CBD oil and various other CBD products are all about. The active ingredient in CBD oil is Cannabidiol (CBD), which is a type of cannabinoid. This chemical is found naturally in cannabis plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t give you a “high”, but it has shown promise in helping relieve anxiety.
Many ancient therapies can assist in treating stress and anxiety. Reflexology is a non-invasive but effective therapy that can be done almost anywhere. It works by putting pressure on certain parts of the hands and feet and encourages the body to relax, restoring natural balance.
It helps with reducing stress, improves sleep, and calms the entire ‘fight or flight’ stress mode. It’s especially useful in treating long term effects of stress.
It works in taking your mind away from your stress and focusing it on the present moment and your breathing. It interrupts the stress thought cycle. People are encouraged to sit in a quiet place, take a deep breath, and focus on the present moment.
Usually, guided meditation will instruct them to focus on different parts of their bodies as the meditation progresses. In this way, the mind stops focusing on anxious thoughts and starts enjoying the relaxing flow of focus on the present moment. Guided meditations are usually accompanied by soothing music which also helps to decrease stress.
The human body is designed to move. Every part of the body has a function, and it all points towards feeding muscles and strengthening bones for movement. When we’re active, we release endorphins, the feel-good drug that we manufacture naturally in our bodies.
The unfortunate fact is that we’re so exhausted by work or family pressures, that our mind cons itself to thinking that we would be happier sitting on the couch eating chips, and watching TV.
Herbs & Flowers
Very similar to aromatherapy, the inclusion of herbs and flowers in our daily diets can be a powerful coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. Fresh herbs are not as concentrated as a CBD or aromatherapy oil, but they are easy to include in our daily lives.
Lavender sprays and chamomile tea are just a couple of ways that you can incorporate flowers into daily life. Herbs work well as they can be added to cooking. Fresh ginger in a stew or lemon balm in a dessert can all help in decreasing stress levels.
Very few people will escape stress and anxiety completely. It’s a part of our hectic lifestyles, and instead of resorting to having a nervous breakdown, or popping pills, there are more natural ways to cope. Take the time to decide which method is right for you and discover that much-coveted inner peace.