Natural stress relief guide

16 steps to relieving stress, naturally

74% of Brits have felt ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ in the past year

51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious.

46% reported that they ate too much or ate unhealthily due to stress. 29% reported that they started drinking or increased their drinking, and 16% reported that they started smoking or increased their smoking.

Feeling fraught? Suffer from a tight knot in your stomach – or worse? Maybe you’ve reached a point of avoiding social events, calling in sick to work or staying in bed all day, unable to face the world.

Sound familiar?

If so, you need to speak with a GP as soon as you can. Nothing can replace tailored medical advice. Yet by the same token, many underestimate the many natural sources of stress relief as they do battle with their everyday struggles. Speaking of which, here are 16 quick-fire tips for taking on stress, and winning (naturally)…

1. Get a minimum of eight hours sleep

2. Reduce your caffeine intake (ideally to one or two cups a day)

3. Laugh – stick on an unfailing sitcom and chuckle for 20 minutes a day

4. Keep in regular contact with friends and family.

5. Grab 30 minutes exercise at least every other day (even if only a leisurely walk).

6. Write down your problems – then scrunch the paper up and throw it away.

7. Write down all the things that you’re grateful for each day.

8. Commit time to pure, uninterrupted relaxation at least once a week – we’re talking candles (lavender, rose or vetiver are the most well-known for stress-relief), essential oils and music.

9. Hit YouTube and start practicing yoga.

10. Become more mindful – focusing only on the things in the present.

11. Cuddle! – Science has found that Cuddling, kissing, hugging and sex can all help relieve stress.

12. Breathe, deeply – focus on your breathing each day (start with this video).

13. Take time out with your pet – stroking a pet has been shown to release oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes a positive mood.

14. Take control – be positive – switch your thinking from “I can’t do anything about this”, to “what can I do about this?”

15. Eat well – fuel your body on good food and plenty of water.

16. Consider volunteering – evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient.

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