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Wired, Stressed Out, and Tired? 15 Natural Ways to Reduce Stress
Many doctors are stating that more and more often, they see patients come in with stress related ailments or patients that are so stressed out, they can’t even handle learning to meditate or to even try to fit a yoga class into their schedule. Isn’t it ironic that the people who are seeking a means of relief from their stress filled lives are too stressed to make any other choices, other than to look for a quick fix?
This is why there has been a huge boom in the number of stress clinics, yoga centers, day spas, wellness centers, and life coaches. People seem to think that being in a constant state of “crazy busy” is a badge of honor to wear proudly rather than live a more relaxed and balanced life.
Although we can’t avoid all stress, we can learn to manage it better. If you are already doing yoga and/or meditation, but feel that you still need some help, we might have the answer for you.
Keep reading and find out 15 of the best herbs, oils, minerals, and other natural means that you can use to help reduce stress, as well as help your body deal with it more efficiently.
This important mineral reduces muscle tension in the body and is considered to be a powerful relaxing agent. Very few people get enough of this vital mineral, so consuming about 800mg daily can go a long way towards relieving stress and anxiety symptoms. It can also help you get a better night’s sleep. Since magnesium is difficult for the body to absorb orally, another way to absorb this mineral is by putting Epsom salts in your bath water two or three times per week.
This is one delicious and easy way to help relieve stress and anxiety. Ginger tea is perhaps the best way to get your ginger on. Simply slice a few pieces of fresh, organic ginger root and allow it to steep, covered, for about 10 minutes in a cup of boiling water. Ginger will calm the nerves, relax the digestive system, and clear toxins from the body at the same time. This is truly some sweet relief!
The active ingredients in eucalyptus play a vital role in relieving tension and stress, according to some studies. You can use this via aromatherapy by adding some essential oil to a room diffuser, or simply placing a few drops on a clean cloth and inhaling its refreshing scent. Or you can make a tea out of the dried leaves. Eucalyptus makes nice massage oil as well when mixed with a good quality carrier oil such as olive oil or sweet almond oil.
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You might think of this essential fatty acid as brain food, but it also supports healthy mood function in adults. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be very effective for the relief of depression and bipolar disorder; omega-3s can go a long way towards reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Ohio State University College of Medicine found in a study that 68 subjects who consumed omega-3 supplements for a 3 month period had reduced levels of anxiety. You need to take about 2,500mgs to get the benefits of this super healthy essential fatty acid, but it is so worth it!
You can find this product in almost any supermarket in the form of soap, face washes, and shampoo. Jojoba has a calming effect on the body, so when you bathe with jojoba soap, you will soothe the body, which will calm the mind. Jojoba is also sold as an after bath moisturizer or as body lotions. Jojoba oil is terrific massage oil and you can also add a few drops to your bath water and soak away the stress.
This is the amino acid that is found in tea. Well-studied for its ability to reduce mental and physical stress as well as increase feelings of calm and well-being, theanine works amazingly well. You need about 200mg of this supplement daily to help generate alpha brain waves, which will give you those calm, peaceful feelings.
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Passionflower has long been used for its amazing ability to calm the body and mind. You will find many herbal teas intended to promote sleep contain passionflower. This herb reduces feelings of anxiety and stop insomnia in its tracks just as effectively as prescription drugs but without the side effects or morning grogginess.
8. Ginkgo Biloba
This ancient extract from the Chinese Ginkgo tree work as an antioxidant as well as a powerful sedative. Ginkgo leaves contain terpenoids and flavonoid glycosides that relives feelings of anxiety and stress. You can purchase this herb at any health food store but be careful about purchasing cheap imports from China as these can contain little or no ginkgo leaves and might contain toxic or questionable substances.
9. Bergamot Essential Oil
This is an essential oil which is extracted from the peel of bergamot oranges. For those looking to relieve stress via aromatherapy, you can’t go wrong with this essential oil. Bergamot decreases levels of the stress hormone corticosterone. You can use it in a diffuser, in the bath, or simply inhale a few drops placed on a clean cloth. You can also use this as a massage oil when you mix a few drops in a good quality carrier oil such as jojoba oil, olive oil, or sweet almond oil.
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10. St. John’s Wort
In ancient times, this plant was used to help treat wounds and burns, but more recent studies show that this plant is very effective in fighting depression, so much so that you even find it in many prescription antidepressants. You can buy this plant in many forms including capsule supplements, tinctures, or in tea form.
Although theanine seems to increase the levels of GABA receptors in our brains that give us those peaceful feelings, GABA seems to work better when combined with other stress supplements other than theanine. GABA can be consumed via oral supplements to help relieve feelings of anxiety, improving the mood, reducing symptoms of PMS, and improving concentration levels. You need between 200 to 500mg of GABA each day to experience the best results.
Perhaps one of the best well-known aromatherapy herbs for encouraging relaxation. You can drink lavender tea, make your own lavender lemonade, or use the essential oil in your diffuser. You will also find dozens of shower products and lotions that contain lavender. This beautifully flowering herb is perhaps one of the best herbs for those suffering from insomnia.
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No matter which remedy you decide to try, be sure that you are getting enough of all the B vitamins. Your body needs all of them, but B6 is especially important to make both serotonin and GABA. Low levels of B12 have also been associated with feelings of anxiety. Since the B vitamins work best in combination with each other, don’t consume just one or two, but purchase a B complex supplement for best results.
You will find valerian root tea in every health food store due to its long history of use in treating anxiety, insomnia, and fighting stress and tension. Valerian contains a wide range of active ingredients and has been proven for hundreds of years to be both safe and effective.
SEE ALSO: Top 6 All Natural Stress Reducing Drinks
Australian researchers tested a standardized kava extract on 60 subjects who were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder in 2009. After consuming kava each day for 3 weeks, all subjects reported that their anxiety levels decreased significantly when compared to the placebo group. This herb is super effective for those who are suffering from both depression and feelings of anxiety.
Always consult your doctor before beginning any herbal program, especially if you are taking any prescription medications or have any health concerns.