How to Reduce Stress Naturally

Getty / Paul Bradbury
Sunshine can help to reduce stress. Getty / Paul Bradbury

Stress can be harmful physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Stress plays a role in your mood and emotions. It can be related to anxiety, a lack of motivation and focus, becoming irritable and easily angry, and depressed or sad.

If you are under stress, you may also notice changes in your behavior such as overeating or undereating, drug or alcohol use to self-medicate, mood swings or angry outbursts, and social withdrawal.

Although stress is detrimental to your well-being, it does not have to be a part of your life. There are natural methods that you can use to reduce stress in your life.

Engage in Physical Activity

Exercise is a great stress reliever and it’s a great way to get healthy. Do some cardio to burn off some steam and sweat the stress away. Take up kickboxing as a great way to get your frustration out.

Take a walk to relieve stress. Choose a speed walk, a slow brisk walk, or a jog or run. Any of these are a great way to clear your mind. Dancing is also an amazing way to reduce stress and it’s also fun. Turn on your favorite tune and dance. You may even find that it gives your confidence a boost in addition to reducing stress.

Follow Your Passions

Take up a hobby. Perhaps something you were passionate about when you were a kid. Go back to what used to bring you joy or take up something you are now passionate about, but always tell yourself that you do not have time to do.

Make the time, you’re worth it. If you can’t think of what your passion is, then be adventurous and take up something entirely new. Get out of you comfort zone. You never know where you may find your passion. Changing things can keep you happy and stress levels low.

Lean on Friendships

Having a drink with the girls isn’t just for “Sex In The City.” It is actually a great stress reliever.

Alcohol is not even required—all you need are people whom you trust, who love you, and who can relate to your stress. People with social anxiety often keep things bottled up inside. Talk through what is stressing you out with someone non-threatening. It might feel like a weight being lifted off your shoulders to get other people’s perspectives. Any setting will do—a yoga class, a café, a park, or a shopping mall.

Change Your Diet

A poor diet can add to your stress and make it worse. Make a veggie or fruit smoothie in the morning to start off your day. Don’t skip breakfast, as hunger can add to your stress.

Get Some Sunshine

Get plenty of sunshine to reduce stress and boost Vitamin D.

Practice Meditation

Meditation has been used for centuries to induce a calm state. Take time each day, find a quiet moment, close your eyes, and just take a few deep breaths.

Smell the Roses

Slow down, and take the time to just be in the moment. Notice and appreciate the little things. Learn to be grateful for what you have and where you are.

You may discover the beauty of things that have been right in front of you the whole time. Do the little things that you love and take the time to spoil yourself. Take that bubble bath, go to spa, read a book, or take a solo road trip. It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.

Be Charitable

Helping others can be very satisfying. Seeing the smiles of those who you help will reduce stress and help you to put things in perspective. It is also a great chance to practice your social skills and challenge yourself with new social situations.

Laugh

As the saying goes, “Fake it until you make it.” Trick yourself into feeling better when you are under stress. Watch a funny movie, go to a comedy club, or simply hang out with people who make your laugh.

In summary, you don’t have to accept that stress is here to stay even when you suffer with social anxiety. You are worth more. Be proactive in search of your own happiness. No one else is going to do it for you. Breathe and put a smile on your face.

Source:

Mead, M. N. (2008). Benefits of sunlight: a bright spot for human health. Environmental health perspectives. 116(4).

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