We all experience stress, from occasional work demands to making big, life-altering decisions. The reality is that some of us are so used to living with stress that we don’t even notice when it’s negatively impacting our health.
Stress looks different for everyone, and symptoms range from physical aches, insomnia and low energy to cognitive and behavioral symptoms such as racing thoughts, poor judgment and inability to focus.
Possible consequences of long-term stress include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Depression and anxiety
This is why learning to manage stress now could potentially save you in the long run. Here we’re sharing 4 of the many ways you can help reduce stress naturally.
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Not only is staying active great for your overall health, but regular exercise can also help combat stress and anxiety. Whether it’s jogging, yoga, dancing or even just a brisk walk around the neighborhood, exercise releases endorphins — the feel-good chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
Moving your body throughout the day can also improve sleep quality and help lower stress hormones such as cortisol.
Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years, with various parts of the plant used to make a wide variety of products like rope, strong fabric, paper and fiberboard. Its seeds are known for being exceptionally nutritious and can be consumed in a variety of ways, from blended in smoothies to hemp seed milk.
Hemp also contains cannabinoids which interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) and regulates a range of important functions within your body, including sleep, mood, appetite, memory and fertility.
While experts are still learning more about endocannabinoid system, hemp has been known to help ease symptoms of anxiety and stress. You can easily incorporate hemp wellness products into your daily routine via tinctures, capsules, or topical balms.
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils from plants and flowers. Through either skin absorption or inhalation, essential oils can stimulate areas of the limbic system, the part of your brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell and long-term memory.
The limbic system also helps control several other functions such as breathing and heart rate, which is why some people claim essential oils have medicinal effects.
Some of the most popular essential oils known for their soothing scents include lavender, rose, bergamot, sandalwood and ylang ylang. From candles and diffusers to bath bombs and body oils, there are many ways to reap the potential benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy.
Studies suggest that practicing mindfulness may help lessen symptoms of stress and anxiety. This can be as simple as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or keeping a daily gratitude journal. Focusing on what’s positive in your life can help shift your way of thinking and alleviate emotional tension.
Because chronic stress can lead to mental health issues, you may benefit from counseling. A licensed therapist or counselor can help you recognize your personal stressors while equipping you with helpful ways to manage stress.
Incorporating any of the above into your daily routine can help lower stress, but it’s always recommended you visit your doctor for routine exams to ensure you’re in optimal health.