More and more people are turning to natural stress relief to deal with both temporary and long term stress. In this article we will look at several popular methods of natural stress relief that you might want to consider. But first, what is stress?
Stress is a physical response that our bodies use for dealing with dangerous situations. When we are under stress a red alert goes out to our endocrine system to produce plenty of adrenaline so that we can defeat the threat or run away – known as the 'fight or flight' response.
Sometimes this is appropriate and useful. For soldiers in war conditions, for people faced with a mugger or if you are crossing the street and suddenly see a bus hurtling toward you, you will need all of that adrenaline to give you what may seem like superhuman energy to deal with the situation.
The problem comes when we are facing non-physical threats such as difficulties in relationships at home or at work, financial worries, a bad housing environment, etc. In those situations we never work off the extra adrenaline that the body produces. We never digest food properly because the digestive system shuts down so that more energy can be released for fighting the threat, etc. That is chronic stress.
It will be clear from all of this that medication may not be the most effective answer. Repressing our symptoms of stress by taking anti depressants or tranquilizing drugs is only likely to push the problem below the surface where it may contribute to serious disease. That's why so many people look for natural stress relief.
Of course, most kinds of stress reduction techniques are 100% natural. Things like taking more exercise, eating a healthy diet, practicing relaxation, meditation or yoga – all of these things can help your body to deal with stress in a completely natural way. But sometimes you may need a more immediate natural stress relief solution. What then?
Many of the herbal and other natural remedies that are suggested for anxiety disorders can also be very useful for people suffering from acute stress. These include:
You might find it hard to believe, but a simple cup of tea can deliver effective natural stress relief in many situations. Try green or white tea if you don't like regular black tea. Leave out the sugar which can cause energy highs and lows.
Passionflower has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia and it can be an effective form of natural stress relief. One of the benefits of using it for stress is that it is believed to improve concentration and work performance. So if your stress is work-related, passionflower may help you to relax and deal with your workload at the same time. However, there can be side effects such as nausea, and consultation with a medical practitioner is recommended.
Valerian is also often prescribed by herbal medicine practitioners in cases of insomnia, but it can help us to relax and get over our stress in the daytime too. As with passionflower, valerian is not suitable for everybody and can have side effects, especially if taken along with other herbal remedies or medications, so consult with a qualified medical practitioner before taking it.
It is only in recent years that research has been carried out into the effects of smell on our wellbeing, but it is becoming clear that it is an important factor. If you are able to set up an essential oil burner in your home or workplace safely, lavender is the top choice for stress. Other oils to consider for natural stress relief include ylang-ylang, sandalwood, geranium, bergamot, jasmine and rose.