Stress is an everyday part of life that is unavoidable in my opinion. However, it’s the way people deal with stress that can make or break individuals or families. There are so many things we can do naturally to decrease our stress levels and help lift our moods! We’ve listed some of our favorite ways to do that below! Comment and let us know your favorite ways to reduce stress in your own life! I also firmly believe this is why I have not had to take medications for stress/anxiety. Practicing these stress relieving tips have given a calming effect to my life I wouldn’t have had otherwise! Read how my anxiety, depression, and panic attacks were healed naturally!
1. Exercise. Need we say more? Get moving in any way possible. My dad lost his leg several years ago, and I remember feeling so much grief and loss for him because I knew he couldn’t get up and moving the way he did before. When I started getting VERY pregnant, I started to get those same suffocating feelings because I was so swollen I couldn’t walk very far, especially at 37 years old! So, I had my mom take me to the pool we are allowed to use where she works. This was such a mood lifter for me, and while it wasn’t serious cardiovascular exercise, I was at least able to move, which made me feel so much better!
2. Drink enough water. This has always been a statement of the obvious to me. Our bodies are over 75% water, so it’s very important to make sure you are drinking enough water to keep your body functioning properly. EVERY resource I could find during pregnancy and beyond said 64oz. of fluids is necessary to maintain healthy metabolic functions in the body. However, sodas, juices, and other sugary or any other unhealthy drink should not be more than 1-2 glasses per day. Otherwise, you’re actually negating the benefits of drinking fluids!
3. Get enough sleep. As a pregnant lady, I can only begin to emphasize the truth of this statement. I can’t believe how different I feel when I get enough sleep. Even on nights where I stay up past my normal sleep time, I can feel cruddy the next day. Get me down to less than 7 hours, and I start having heart palpitations! So, sleep is extremely important to me, and I’ve read everything I can get my hands on about how to get better sleep!
4. Pray. This should be my number one line of defense, but sometimes I find that I forget to pray or just don’t make time to do it. When I pray I love to do it somewhere calm and quiet, like outside in the sun on my deck, or in my bed with soft lighting, or in my recliner. This is so relaxing, and I talk to God just like I’m talking to my husband or mom… telling Him all my concerns, and asking Him to help me through each day. I also pray for protection for my family, and ask for help in overcoming daily obstacles. People of other faiths may refer to this as meditate as well.
5. Eat healthy. While I don’t have enough room in this post to include all the things that go in to eating healthy, I will say this…. do what you know is best for your body. I have IBS and several other gastrointestinal conditions which make it very difficult for me to eat fresh vegetables and fruit. Because of this condition, it has really hindered how “clean” I can go with my eating. So, talk to your doctor, and find out the best healthy eating plan for YOU!
6. Use essential oils. I LOVE Young Living Oils and have used them for many years. I use peppermint, lavender, and more for stress relief! Read all of our Essential Oil posts HERE!
7. Massage. While we’re not professional massage therapists, giving each other massages has eliminated hours upon hours of stress and saved us more money on spas than you can ever imagine! If you have the funds, maybe it’s time to go get a massage at a local spa!
8. Spend time with loved ones that are encouraging. This has always been a mood changer for me, but only if the people are encouraging. You know the friend I’m talking about…she’s a giver, not a taker. She (or he) is a good listener and doesn’t judge. I have about 3-4 of these friends, and they know they are cherished. They are the people I go to when I’m dealing with a really stressful situation.
9. Go outside. Remember your mother telling you this all the time as a kid? I think that mother’s intuitively know that we need sunlight, vitamin D, and exercise to feel better! Getting outdoors in the sunlight helps with Vitamin D, and also allows you to breathe fresh air and get a change of scenery! Whether it’s sitting on your back deck or taking a hike in the mountains, these activities always make me feel better!
10. Clean and/or organize. Cleaning and organizing can actually help people feel more in control, and also create a peaceful environment. It’s much easier to relax when you’re looking at clean, organized surroundings than when you’re staring at clutter and dirt. Take the time to take care of your surroundings, and you should feel your stress levels go down fairly quickly. Have you read our 35 Day Series on 30 Minutes to an Organized Home?
11. Start a new hobby. Hobbies can be very calming, and they don’t have to be expensive. My hubby started solving cryptograms as a way to reduce stress, and that is sort of his “escape” when he’s stressed out. This doesn’t bother me one bit, and I’m glad that he has something to do when he’s feeling stressed out. While this isn’t a mindless activity, it helps calm him and he feels like he can regain focus after solving several puzzles. This is his version of my Candy Crush! Reading, helping others, volunteering, and artistic hobbies are all ways of doing something fun that reduces stress!
12. Change Your Lighting. If you aren’t old enough yet to have floaters, consider yourself blessed. About a year ago I had a sudden burst of floaters in my left eye, so I paid a visit to a local ophthalmologist. I found out I had floaters, which haven’t gone away in over a year, but can be very stressful for me, because they are constantly in my field of vision. I find that fluorescent or bright lights make them much worse. I also think softer lighting has a calming affect on our emotions as well.
13. Try yoga. While I’m not an avid yoga enthusiast, I do feel that stretching is extremely good for the body, so it seems like common sense that Yoga would be very good for stretching muscles and having a calming affect on the body. I don’t know about the different yogas like the yoga where they crank up the temperatures (that would cause me more stress), however, even just sitting on the ground and stretching should help alleviate stress in your life!
14. Get a checkup. Could it be that your stress is rooted in a medical problem? Maybe its time to visit your family physician and have a physical. If you’re out of shape or overweight, this could be causing you more stress as well. Just from gaining fluid in my pregnancy, I was so irritable and stressed out that I couldn’t bend over and do the things that I needed to do evehttp://www.debtfreespending.com/wp-admin/profile.phpryday. This can be extremely stress inducing, and I even had my mom take me to Target in my grandmother’s wheelchair at one point when I couldn’t walk on my swollen legs. Needless to say, she accidentaly dumped me out of the wheelchair onto my knees! Thank heavens we were in the back of the store and no one saw or I would have been mortified! It gave me a new respect for people with disabilities and obesity!
15. Chiropractic care. While I’m not a physician, and can’t give medical advice, I do see a chiropractor on a regular basis. I find that this reduces my stress and also helps me to feel better physically. Hubby and I were in a head-on collision many years ago and have many lasting effects from it, so seeing the chiropractor helps keep those aches and pains away!
16. Prioritize. We often experience stress because our priorities are out of whack. If this is the case for you, it may benefit you to make a list of what you’re giving the most time or attention in your life. Are these the things that you will cherish at the end of your life? If not, it may be time for them to go, and this may mean saying no to others, even if they feel you are letting them down. It’s time to make yourself a priority as well, and that is a definite stress buster!
17. Hug someone. The research on how hugging affects stress levels is truly amazing. We really need to hug more, and good physical touch provides a release of endorphins and truly helps us get into a good mood! If you need someone to hug, visit a local retirement home, and create a new relationship with someone else that needs a hug!
18. Be a friend. Nothing feels better than helping someone else. One time my BFF tore several ligaments in her knee and had to be in a hospital bed for weeks. They had to set up a makeshift shower for her outside, because she lived in a split level home and couldn’t make it up the steps! Luckily it was summer and she came from an avid camping family! So, I went over a few times and helped with things around the house, and I helped her get a shower. I can’t tell you how good it made me feel, and she may not even remember that I was there during that time, but I remember! 🙂
19. Have sex. Need I say more? It brings relationships closer together and helps couples feel more connected. The endorphins that are released are similar to the ones when someone takes drugs, so you can see why it is a “high.”
20. Turn on your favorite music and sing. Sing loud, by the way! (Ok, if you live in apartment building, you might need to be careful on this one, but you get the idea!). Music is a huge mood lifter for me, especially when I pick good music. I love the song Happy by Pharrel Williams). I can’t help but smile when that song comes on the radio!