Everyone gets stressed sometimes. Whether it be financial or personal, significant stress is an unfortunate aspect of modern living. But, too much stress can be a bad thing. Whether you have trouble sleeping or find yourself becoming more irritable, stress takes a toll on our bodies. It is the leading cause of innumerable diseases, and can be single-handedly responsible for symptoms such as hair loss, high blood pressure, headaches, depression, drastic weight changes, ulcers, and more. So, next time you feel the need to pop a chill pill, try one of these more natural remedies instead.
Lavender - If you ever have trouble falling asleep at night, try either rubbing some lavender essential oil on your chest or sprinkling it on your pillow. Lavender helps calm anxiety and can soothe the mind and body to help you sleep more soundly. I use this method and it works for me. Aromatherapy has been shown to trigger various moods and sensations, and can be used to fight depression, fatigue, anxiety, headaches and indigestion.
Sweet Potato - Most of us reach for sweets or salty carbs when feeling stressed. Next time, try some sweet potato instead. It will kill your cravings, satisfy your frenzied emotions, and help you digest more slowly due to their high fiber content. If you are really craving comfort food, try steamed and mashed sweet potatoes with a dash of coconut milk.
Chamomile - Chamomile tea has been shown to relax the body and muscles before sleep. Although chamomile’s benefits have not been medically proven, it has been used for centuries for its sedative qualities as well as an immune booster. Brew up a pot of fresh chamomile tea, add some raw honey with beneficial enzymes for an additional boost.
Dark Chocolate - A recent study has shown that eating 3-4 ozs. per day of dark chocolate lowers your body’s stress hormones and reduces anxiety. The stress hormone cortisol, in particular, can easily become imbalanced and lead to long term disease and disfunction. Your brain releases endorphins when you eat chocolate as long as it's in moderation. Organic dark chocolate has many health benefits without any processed sugar.
St. John’s Wort - If you’re feeling down in the dumps, this herb has been shown to significantly increase mood and attitude in patients with mild depression. It has been used for centuries as a natural anti-depressant and is a fairly ubiquitous plant, often regarded as a weed. However, be sure to consult your doctor before adding any new herbs or regimens into your diet to avoid allergic reaction or misdiagnosis.
Peanut Butter - If you aren’t getting enough sleep and are feeling cranky, grab a spoonful of organic, unsweetened peanut butter. Being high in vitamin B6, it helps to regulate blood sugar, which stabilizes mood swings. Peanut butter is a great comfort food when consumed in moderation.
If those remedies aren’t enough for you, some other excellent ideas are practicing yoga or meditation, regular exercise, enjoying a hot bath, or even writing in a personal journal. Relieving yourself of stress will make your life a lot healthier and more enjoyable. If you are stressed out and are reaching for potato chips or ice cream, try one of the natural remedies instead.
Take time for yourself, let your mind relax, and enjoy a bit of this crazy ride we call life.