Most people realize now that is isn’t just the chemical exposure, harmful ingredients in food, or even a lack of exercise that are leading contributors to illness and disease. Those are hugely important factors, no doubt, but let us not forget about the other primary, silent killer – stress.
We all know we should lower our stress levels, but it isn’t always easy. Sometimes, though, knowing exactly how stress is affecting us can be highly motivating to take steps that will actually decrease stress in our lives. Truly, stress affects everything from our physical health or mental health, from mind to body. Stress can hasten the development of any illness, or could cause your hair to fall out years before it normally would. Check out this previous NaturalSociety post on how stress affects your mind and body; you may be surprised.
Whether de-stressing by spending time in nature, practicing yoga or tai chi, laughing more often, or by unplugging from our computers and smart phones for at least a few hours every day, lowering stress is imperative.
Here are 25 tricks to de-stress your brain right now:
- 1. Drop the sugar-laden snacks.
- 2. Peel an orange. Studies show the smell of citrus can help reduce stress.
- 3. Pick up a hobby you truly love doing, and do it.
- 4. Watch comedy movies.
- 5. Do anything you can to lessen your commute to work.
- 6. Eat more walnuts. According to a Penn State University study, eating a handful of walnuts every day can prepare your body to deal with stress and anxiety more efficiently.
- 7. Hang out with friends often.
- 8. Read a book.
- 9. Focus on your breathing.
- 10. Eat clean foods.
- 11. Reduce caffeine consumption.
- 12. Limit alcohol consumption.
- 13. Eat more (dark) chocolate. According to a study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, individuals who are highly stressed benefit from daily consumption of dark chocolate.
- 14. Practice forgiveness.
- 15. Be sensual with your partner.
- 16. Drink more green tea. According to the Japanese study, drinking five cups of the tea each day could reduce stress by 20%.
- 17. Spend more time in nature.
- 18. Search for a less stress job (easier said than done, I know).
- 19. Try acupuncture.
- 20. Have some ashwagandha. The herb is so powerful that it can not only slow the aging process, but is also a wonderful force against oxidative stress, cell death, and mutation. Further, the plant helps to lower cortisol levels, one of the worst stress hormones.
- 21. Exercise!
- 22. Eat more blueberries.
- 23. Use lavender. Fresh lavender or even lavender essential oil is known to reduce irritability and help promote a relaxed state of mind.
- 24. Think about everything you are grateful for.
- 25. Look at negative situations from a different perspective.