Stress is a natural mental and physical reaction to difficult circumstances that occur in life and can sometimes help us cope with potentially harmful situations by triggering our fight-or-flight response. But if your stress level stays elevated for longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. When your stress response fires day after day, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that can cause rapid heart and breathing rates, higher blood pressure and a weakened immune system. Chronic stress can cause a number of symptoms that affect your well-being, including:
- Muscle tension
- High blood sugar
- Reproductive issues
Prolonged stress also can lead to behaviors such as overeating, social withdrawal and alcohol or substance abuse. The impact it has on your mind, body and spirit can be devastating, which is why stress management is crucial to leading a healthy life. There are many natural strategies for treating stress holistically that come with a host of benefits. One way you can combat stress and improve your overall health is with regular exercise. Physical activity that gets your blood and endorphins pumping provides an outlet for blowing off steam, which can help alleviate anxiety and depression related to stress.
Unplugging from social media also can play a role in easing stress-related symptoms along with eating a balanced diet that’s low in processed foods and rich in nutrients. Supplying your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs can help you conquer stress and keep your mood and energy in balance.
Try implementing other natural stress-reduction techniques into your life, such as spending time with family, friends and pets. This can help release oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. A social support network also can help you get through emotional or challenging times by providing a sense of belonging and self-worth. This in turn can reduce feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety. Playing or cuddling with an animal companion can help take your mind off your troubles and improve your mood.
Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. A good laugh can help lighten the burden of stressful situations as well as strengthen the immune system, dissolve negative emotions and relieve muscle tension. For more ways to treat stress naturally, see the accompanying infographic.
About The Author:
Nadia Ameri is a Certified Flower Essence Therapist for The Flower Apothecary, a provider of flower essences that support the healing of negative emotions. She has more than 13 years of experience in the industry and focuses on creating natural remedies through homeopathy healing by studying and formulating flower essences.
Holistic Happiness: Ways To De-Stress Naturally created by The Flower Apothecary