How to Stress Less (literally)
The beginning of the year is a time to reset and restart. Many of us make resolutions and want to incorporate change into everyday life. But achieving new goals while trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle of work, family and other demands can be really challenging. It can also provoke stress and anxiety, which is why we here at Stressless® want to help you do just that – stress less! Here are five ways to ease anxiety:
Aromatherapy practices began thousands of years ago; however, the actual term was coined in 1935 by French chemist, Renee-Maurice Gattefosse. It is known as a holistic healing treatment that utilizes essential oils from aromatic plants to promote well-being and reduce stress. Studies suggest that using essential oils on the skin will improve sleep and aid with chronic pain, and additional findings show that simply smelling these aromas can greatly reduce anxiety. Lotions, candles and room sprays are just a few products that often include these oils and are easy to incorporate throughout the home. Lavender, chamomile, geranium, rose and lemon are some widely enjoyed aromatherapy scents.
Incorporating supplements is another way to keep stress at bay, and two have a lot of backing on their effectiveness in doing so.
According to healthline, Omega-3 fatty acids fight off stress and anxiety, as well as help with depression. The key is that Omega-3s must be consumed on a regular basis to do so. If you do not enjoy many of the natural foods that contain Omega-3s such as salmon, tuna, oysters, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed, you may want to consider an Omega-3 supplement to help relieve stress. These are usually sold at local grocery stores found in the vitamin section, typically in pill form.
- Green Tea
Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves. Theanine has relaxing properties and is known to help relieve stress and anxiety. You can supplement green tea into your diet by simply drinking it, or by adding in green tea powder or oil into drinks and food. There are also several green tea extract pill supplements on the market.
- Yoga & Mindfulness
Practicing yoga and mindfulness will absolutely help get rid of stress. Yoga increases muscle and breath awareness, while reducing anxiety and boosting your mood. It connects the mind and body and is proven to have calming effects. Mindfulness is an important piece of yoga that can also be mastered separately. If you can’t make time to try an online or in-person yoga class, practice being mindful in other ways, such as writing in a gratitude journal for 5 minutes in the morning before you start your day. Being mindful and focusing on things going well in life can shift perspective and allow you to breathe and, of course, stress less. Calm is a great app to download to explore meditation and mindfulness, while Glo comes as a highly recommended yoga app with meditation features.
- Find A Furry Friend
Pets are a fantastic way to make you feel happy and relaxed. They provide companionship, keep you moving and give purpose to your day. Some research suggests that petting animals and taking care of them produces a chemical in the brain known as oxytocin. Oxytocin is linked to increased social interaction and happiness, as well as having anti-stress effects. If you do not have the time or resources to care for a pet, consider visiting the animal shelter on a day off and spend some time with animals in need.
- Be creative
Even if you do not feel like you have creative genes, manage your stress by getting your artistic juices flowing. Whether it is painting, sculpting, coloring, learning to play an instrument, or writing poetry, there is evidence that having a creative hobby reduces cortisol levels. This, in turn, eases stress and anxiety. It’s so effective that art therapy for people of all ages is an adopted form of counseling across the world. Creating things allows the mind to shift focus to something pleasant while appealing to the body’s different senses. Carve some time out in your evening to try this during 30 minutes you would normally spend watching television or scrolling on your phone.
Our final recommendation to help relax and decrease stress levels is to visit us at Stressless, where we have a variety of furniture options to make you and your home comfortable and cozy! Combine your restful home with some aromatherapy, supplements, yoga, mindfulness, a furry friend or creativity and you are bound to stress less going forward.
For more ways to stress less, visit our blog post from October which gives tips on managing stress at work.