Friday, April 5, 2013

The Health Journey: 11 Natural Ways to Eliminate Stress

If you are like me, there is a lot going on in your life.  Stress can really zap you. I do not find pleasure in taking pills nor do I want to be medicated.  Frankly I am just fed up with feeling crazed!  In this Journey I've discovered some natural ways to remove stress from my life.  Remember, there is always a simple natural alternative. It may be different and take longer to see results, but it’s worth it.  Oh…and did I mention economical? 

11 Natural Ways to Eliminate Stress:

1.     Eliminate the effect of foolishness on your mind.  You cannot control people, but you can control how they affect you. Turn the volume down on the outside "noise" or mute it altogether.  (free)

2.      Pray/meditate. (free)

3.     Find ways to RELAX: bubble baths, massage therapy, aroma therapy. My favorite essential oils for relaxation are: lavender, chamomile and sage.

4.    Have fun! Watch funny TV shows or movies, go to comedy shows, and hang out with amazingly positive people who are invested in your well-being.  This means there will be no drama or sharing of conversations with anyone who has no right to be in your business (!!!).  (mostly free)

Amazing friends work wonders for eliminating stress

5.     Get involved in things outside yourself: volunteer for a cause.  Make sure you are helping somebody with something EVERYDAY. (could be free)

6.     Re-awaken the hobbies or activities you REALLY ENJOY.  Reading, crafts, travel, etc.

7.      Get in the gym or on the track, trail, tennis court, kick ball field, or roller skating rink…. and work it out!  Allow your body to release endorphins that will put some pep in your step and calm your nerves. 


 8.    Don’t let your undies get in a bunch and don’t sweat the small stuff.  If your undies are always bunched up or you find yourself sweating too much….evaluate how you are reacting to people and situations around you.  I consider myself a “reactor”.  I react in some way shape or form (internally or externally to EVERYTHING).  I am learning to TRULY pick my battles and to be less reactive. Thank you Lord!  It’s so much easier this way.  I feel more balanced.  You will still have to address pertinent issues…but the situations will be more controlled. (free)
9.  Eliminate/Manage stress factors:  You know what the stress factors are in your life.  I know what mine are, and I have to manage them in order to be sane. (free) Some examples include:
  •  Crazy drama filled friends – who needs the extra drama? Just watch SCANDAL J
  • Pressure from work - set boundaries so you don’t lose your mind or over commit.
  • Hyper children - do not feed them any sugar, make sure they have a well-balanced diet and are in bed as early as possible.  That leaves more down time for you and provides an opportunity to get other things done.

10.   EAT GOOD, NOURISHING FOOD.  This tip is in capital letters because we don’t realize how important our diet is to our emotional and mental health.  We overlook what we put in our mouths and focus on the external stress factors.  Eating well will help.  Stress is an emotional reaction and can manifest in the physical and mental arenas of our lives.

An apple a day keeps the stress away (Robert Couse-Baker)

Too much refined sugar, caffeine, salt and dead food puts us on a mood swing roller coaster and does not provide the nourishment our minds and bodies need to be strong, quick and sharp.

11.    Get plenty of rest.  This is something I am still struggling with.  When I do sleep well I can tell the difference! (free)

Sleep is good for the soul!



The story behind the 11:

I thought I knew what stress was when attending graduate school... I soon realized graduate school was a Ferris wheel ride compared to the world of the working woman.  A few years after starting my career I got married and was pregnant within six weeks. I went back to work after 3.5 months of maternity leave and a year after returning I switched jobs to a more high paced, demanding role!!



I was also depressed (not really understanding depression) because I was not dealing with the new stress factors in my life very well.  New trying times call for new coping skills...I was using the old coping skills for new situations....It was not working!


There were health issues with my son, relationship issues with those surrounding me, and I felt so alone! I began to isolate myself in the name of peace/security but that was in vain and added to my strife, stress and anxiety. 


Slowly but surely I began to "wake up".  I began to get involved in church activities again, I started exercising on a regular basis, eating better, I started working smarter on the job, re-awakened my artistic desires and dreams, and best of all started listening to God.  God is awesome and is always there to provide a positive/secure alternative.


I’m starting to realize my life's purpose...and that is because of this journey (even the unbearable parts).  Thankfully the stress laden activities have become less impactful.  


What tips can you apply to your life??


Let me know what your experiences have been with coping with stress.

Peace and blessings!