Sure, there’s no possible way to avoid stress entirely. But there are ways of learning to identify stress triggers, manage stress levels, and cope with it. Best of all, every method featured in this guide is based on 100% natural remedies and solutions.
Everyone deals with some form of stress in their life, and it’s not always easy to find relief. Family and work obligations, personal goals, financial issues; it can seem never-ending.
In this special write-up, we’ll look at just some of the many ways you can improve the quality of your life by learning how to properly manage stress levels.
Tip #1: Get Active
An easy, natural, yet incredibly powerful method of reducing stress is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other and increasing your day-to-day physical activity levels.
For those of us who spend a good amount of our time sitting behind a desk, getting in some exercise isn’t always something we make time for – but it’s an important component in resetting your mind and body, which will ultimately help you to reduce or manage stress levels better.
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When you think of committing to a regular exercise routine, you might feel overwhelmed. After all, most of us live extremely busy lives and it’s not always easy to find that extra time to squeeze in a workout.
But in truth, all it takes is 15 to 30-minutes a day, most days of the week, to see an increase in your overall mood and stress levels.
Plus, there are simple ways to incorporate exercise into your existing lifestyle, such as purchasing a work desk that allows for adjustable height so that you can spend a few minutes every hour standing while working.
Every time we exercise, our bodies naturally release endorphins. These endorphins are hormones that travel throughout our body, giving us a boost of energy, and actively ridding the body of stress and anxiety.
To get an idea of just how much exercise can improve your mood by releasing these powerful endorphins, take 10 minutes, and either walk or jog lightly in place.
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Incorporating exercise into your life will also help with your stress levels if you’re overweight, or suffering from other types of health problems. It’s a win-win!
Exercise contributes to a healthier lifestyle, thereby fighting obesity and helping your body perform at the top of its game. If you’re concerned about your weight, start by walking 20- minutes a day, and if necessary, break it up into 10 or even 5- minute sessions.
You’ll be surprised at how much stress you’ll relieve just with some basic exercise and you may also lose some weight! In addition to these benefits, exercise can also give you some
much-needed alone time so that you can reset your mind and spirit.
Whether you’re a parent with a full-time job outside of the home, a college student who is constantly surrounded by roommates, or you simply live a hectic, pressure-ridden lifestyle, everyone needs some time by themselves.
Throw on some headphones and listen to your favorite podcast, or leave them at home and just work out in peace. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your stress will subside just by giving yourself the opportunity to recharge.
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Between releasing endorphins and getting away from it all, plus making a healthy lifestyle change, you’ll find that exercise is a natural stress relief that everyone can benefit from. Give it a try!
Tip #2: Limit Incoming Noise
Access to the Internet has brought a lot into our world: convenience, social networking, the ability to work from just about anywhere. But with it comes an extraordinary amount of stress.
Just think about the last time you sat down to watch your favorite television show. You were probably distracted by your mobile device, which means that you most likely didn’t absorb everything that you watched.
And it’s not your fault. We’ve become almost numb to the sound of notifications going
off on our phones and tablets, incoming emails, alerts, and a myriad of other online signals that pull our attention in a hundred different directions.
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If you work online, the constant incoming noise can leave you overwhelmed and stressed. You feel pressured to respond to customers quickly, or perhaps you’re trying to manage several different businesses at once and find yourself constantly having to refocus your attention because you have so many things happening at once.
It’s important to learn to cut out the noise, disconnect, and recharge your mental and emotional batteries. Not only will this help you manage stress levels by giving yourself
a mental “time out”, but ultimately, the downtime will boost creativity levels and help you run your business more efficiently!
The most important time to disconnect from the internet, however, is shortly before we go to bed. Staring at a screen and scrolling has been linked to insomnia related issues (which lead to high-stress levels). For a good night’s sleep, turn off all mobile devices about an hour before your bedtime (1).
Try reading a magazine or physical book, or watch some light TV. Do some type of activity that isn’t too engaging but still somewhat stimulating so that your mind is able to stay focused while still being able to wind down and relax.
If you’re concerned about someone not being able to get a hold of you in case of an emergency, then turn off your notifications in the settings section of your phone and tell people to only call you for emergencies beyond a certain time.
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It’s important to focus on your own personal downtime every day, even if it’s just an extra hour away from the chaos of your business life. There’s only so long you can move at a rapid pace before getting burn out, so learning to set a schedule and sticking to it will ensure you’re always performing at your very best.
Tip #3: Get Enough Sleep
Another natural way to manage stress is to make sure that you get enough, but not too much sleep. When we don’t rest enough at the end of our day, our body can tense up and it leads to irritability and depression. And when we’re irritable or depressed, we’re stressed.
On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should sleep for an incredibly long time.
If you sleep longer than your body actually needs, then you can become sluggish and listless which can also lead to stress when you’re unable to meet deadlines, get through your personal to-do list or simply feel down that you aren’t being productive.
Oversleeping can make you just as irritable and stressed out as not getting enough sleep.
To determine just how much sleep your body needs, it’s important to establish a regular sleep schedule, even on your days off.
It will force your brain to go into shutdown mode at the same time every night, regardless of what you have planned for the next day. Once you make this change and catch up with your sleep, you’ll find that you’re less stressed, and overall, much happier.
To establish a regular sleeping pattern, you’ll just need to do a few things each and every day. First, you’ll want to avoid any exercise about 2-3 hours before your scheduled bedtime.
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As mentioned earlier in this article, exercise creates endorphins that give us energy. And while that’s a good thing, you want to give your body adequate time every night to wind down.
You can take it a step further with a warm bath, too. Consider taking one with some essential oils an hour or so before bedtime. Vanilla and lavender are naturally calming scents, plus they complement each other very well.
Another way to relax your body is with food. Try having a banana or two, or a handful of peanuts, or even a turkey sandwich about three hours before bedtime.
These foods contain tryptophan, which after being consumed, creates melatonin: a hormone that makes us sleepy. But avoid eating too close to your bedtime, as doing so can cause heartburn and acid reflux. Getting the perfect night’s sleep is an easy and natural way to keep stress at bay!
Tip #4: Reduce Caffeine Intake
Many adults are self-professed caffeine addicts, and studies now show that coffee does come with some health benefits. But as with everything in life, moderation is key.
For some people, caffeine may not be a good idea at all.
Everyone has a different caffeine threshold, right? Some people can handle a lot, some just a little, and some not at all. It all comes down to your body’s overall chemistry.
Reducing your caffeine intake, be it in the form of coffee or other high caffeinated beverages, is a natural way to reduce and manage stress.
Just as many of us need caffeine to function after waking up, too much can make us jittery and scatterbrained.
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If you’d like to try cutting back on your caffeine intake, it’s important to do so in moderation. Caffeine can be addicting, and going cold turkey can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Try cutting back just one cup a day and see how you feel. Depending on the outcome, keep doing this until you find your threshold. Who knows, you may find that you don’t need caffeine at all!
Tip #5: Put Yourself First
So many of us are afraid to say no when people reach out for help, advice, and support, and by not considering whether saying “yes” is good for us, it can easily lead to incredibly high-stress levels.
Are you someone who often takes on more than you can handle? Are you a “yes” person?
Are you finding yourself emotionally and mentally depleted because you give so much of yourself to others? Are you struggling through toxic relationships that don’t add any
value or happiness to your life?
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And being a “yes” person doesn’t just apply to your personal life, but quite often “yes” people are the same way with their jobs or careers.
They don’t want to miss out on an opportunity so they sign on for as many tasks or projects as possible. They’re worried that they’ll fall behind the competition, so they
say yes to every marketing strategy or new course that pops up online claiming to help them enhance their business skills.
Sometimes managers will reward hard workers with a higher workload output, assuming they’ll be motivated by the bonus despite any consideration as to whether they will be able to perform consistently at the required level.
All of this often backfires since people can only do so much before burning themselves out and depleting themselves of that creative energy and motivation to excel. Even if you’re someone who thrives under pressure, the truth is, we all have a breaking point.
If you find yourself in this situation, take a step back and look over your workload. Ask yourself what you can get done within a reasonable amount of time, and then discuss this with your manager, business partner – or simply yourself!
Explain why taking on a heavier workload will cause your current one to suffer in quality. And if you work for yourself, consider restructuring your schedule and reducing your workload by getting rid of the tasks that you don’t personally need to do. Learn
to delegate or outsource.
If you’re a student who is constantly stressed out about your course load, then consider taking on a lighter one next semester, or if it’s not too late, dropping one you’re currently enrolled in but that you may not need.
Or perhaps you’re going to school full-time while also working full-time. Look at the benefits of going part-time, see if you can rework your budget and make it work.
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In the long run, these changes might require that you stay in school longer than you expected, or change your current living the situation, but your mind and body will thank you.
Above all else, be selective with your overall workload and what favors you do for people. Prioritize what household chores need to be done, what bills must be paid right away, and know when to say no.
If someone else is asking you for help, then chances are good they understand what it means to have too much on your plate.
Tip #6: End Procrastination
Putting tasks off until the last minute can add a tremendous amount of stress to your life, especially if they’re important tasks with a specific deadline. And while it’s often hard to get things done in a timely manner, it’s not impossible with a regular routine.
Whatever tasks you need to accomplish, it’s important to write them down on a To-Do list or use an online project manager to help you stay on track. This can be for your personal or work life, or you can even have separate lists for both (2).
Put the tasks that are most important at the very top of your list, paying close attention to whether they are actually of utmost importance or not (it’s easy for us to prioritize the tasks we actually enjoy doing over the ones that truly move the needle in our personal or business lives), and then make your way down the list. Be sure to include due dates, too.
And avoid scheduling tasks back to back, leaving chunks of time in between each one. You can use this time to reset or just do something that you enjoy doing. It’s important to feed your soul throughout the day, as that’s an easy and natural way to manage stress.
For example, if you are responsible for more than one project at your job, prioritize the one with the earliest deadline and put it at the top of your to-do list. Break it down into segments throughout your day, allowing time for coffee breaks, and some social interaction.
Writers are notorious for producing more words each day by using what are called “sprints”. This is where they write steadily for 20 minutes, then stop for 5-10 minutes, then repeat.
By breaking up their processes so that while they are in a sprint they are laser-focused on the task at hand, while also knowing that a mental and physical break is coming up, they are able to stay focused while also ensuring they recharge and reset.
The same goes for household chores, too. If you feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be cleaned and organized around your home, then create a to-do list or
download a household printable that makes it easy for you to keep track of your objectives.
This will help you keep track of the progress you’ve made so you aren’t feeling overwhelmed. Then work your way down the list to the very last chore that needs to be done.
Remember that when we’re stressed, it often affects how we think and that will reflect in our work. You must read – How to overcome workplace anxiety?
Quite often, we realize far too late that pushing ourselves beyond our mental capabilities results in not only poor output and quality, but we end up taking longer to do simple tasks because we aren’t giving ourselves a chance to recharge.
Tip #7: Listen to Music
When you think about reducing your stress levels, you probably also think about peace and quiet. And while silence can be calming, there are genres of music that can promote tranquility and inner peace which results in lower stress levels.
When it comes to lowering blood pressure and heart rate, turn to slow-paced instrumental music. For example, classical music with violins or a piano can be very comforting. The soothing sounds will help you feel relaxed and grounded.
You can also try listening to culture-specific music such as Celtic music from Ireland. The beautiful sounds will help calm your mind and make you feel at peace. You should also consider Native American and Indian music, which have similar effects to classical.
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Just close your eyes and listen for 10 to 15 minutes and you’ll find almost instantaneous
tranquility. And of course, you can also unwind with the sounds of nature. If you live near a wooded area that’s quiet, go outside, close your eyes for a few minutes, and just listen. Picture in your mind the sounds of birds chirping at each other.
If this isn’t an option, then simply search for “nature music” online and see what comes up. There are thousands of videos full of birds chirping, wolves howling, and other nature sounds that’ll help you relax in no time.
Tip #8: Cut Back on Carbs
A diet full of processed foods can increase stress levels in our bodies. Unless you immediately channel all those carbohydrates into fuel, such as for a workout, they can easily turn into insulin and wreak havoc on our systems.
So, if your diet is fairly high in grains and sugar, consider cutting back and see how much it helps your stress levels. When you do cut back on carbohydrates, you’re bound to feel significantly less sluggish.
Just think about the last time you ate a generous portion of bread, and how you felt immediately afterward. Plus, studies have shown that easing up on carbohydrates helps
reduce your risk of getting diabetes.
So, if you’re looking for a natural way to relieve stress, try slowly cutting back on carbohydrates by:
• Eliminate sweet, processed foods.
• Using lettuce instead of bread for your sandwiches.
• Replace your morning bagel with an egg-white omelet full of veggies.
• Purchase keto buns and bread substitutions.
• Replace sugary drinks with diet alternatives.
These are just a few suggestions on how you can easily cut back on carbohydrates for a healthier lifestyle.
Tip #9: Passionflower
If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, then you’ve probably seen a lot of drinks that are made with passionflower. As opposed to energy drinks, passionflower is actually used to calm you down.
Passionflower is a naturally occurring plant that boosts levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a compound that lowers brain activity.
When you think of brain activity, picture little boats swimming from shore to shore on a river. When you’re overstimulated and stressed out, these boats are all over the place and nothing is clear.
That’s what anxiety feels like. But when levels of GABA are boosted, the boats are floating calmly and going with the flow of the river.
In addition to helping with anxiety, passionflower can also help with stomach problems. Indigestion is often a side effect of stress. When taken regularly, passionflower can help improve your quality of sleep and treat Insomnia.
There are different ways that you can take passionflower, too. You can drink it as a tea, swallow it as a supplement with some water, or you can even find passionflower liquid extract. As with adding any supplement to your diet, be sure to check with a doctor first.
Tip #10: Use Valerian Root
Another natural supplement that can help reduce your stress levels is valerian root. It’s so effective, in fact, that it’s often referred to as Nature’s Valium. This non-habit-forming herb has a tranquilizing effect that also aids in getting a good night’s sleep. Just like passionflower, it also helps with GABA.
The valeric acid found within the valerian root prevents the breakdown of GABA, which is exactly what the anti-anxiety medications Valium and Xanax do. In addition to that, the valerian root also contains the antioxidant Hesperidin and Linaria.
These antioxidants actually inhibit excessive activity in the amygdala, which is the part of our brain that responds to stress with fear.
If you’re interested in this miracle herb, you can take it just like a passionflower. Look for it in the form of a supplement, brew it as an herbal tea, or use pure valerian root extract.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to relieve stress, but it does require paying close attention to your triggers. And before it catches up to you, it is important to make consistent, conscious efforts to manage stress wherever you can.
I suggest making one change at a time and sticking to it for a week or so. Once that change becomes a habit, move onto something else, if needed. Incorporate the ideas into your lifestyle until you have the perfect mixture of stress-relieving tools.
Remember to stretch throughout the day too, as tense muscles will only add to your stress levels. Make sure you have the right mattress for your body type and determine just how much sleep you need.
Above all else, the most important thing is to keep everything balanced and to try not to overwhelm yourself by taking on more than you can handle. When your mind becomes cluttered due to anxiety and stress, it’s hard to think clearly.
I hope you find all the tips in this special report helpful to manage stress in your life. Remember to always carve time in your day to feed your soul, as this will surely keep stress at bay!