Stress is part of life nowadays, but coping and busting through stress is a new field of study and is a necessary one to address. The thing is stress isn’t all bad. Without it, we wouldn’t be motivated to protect ourselves or perform. A certain level of stress helps us to adapt to our environment and pushes us to excel. However, it's when we let the stress "take over" is when it's a cause for concern.
- Meditation - has shown to significantly reduce stress & anxiety levels. Meditation also allows you the space to live with more self-awareness & mindfullness so you can become aware of when stress is creeping into your mind & body & be ready to apply the tools you learn here to stop it in its tracks before it gets out of hand. Read about all the incredible benefits of meditation on the blog
- Epsom Salt Bath - naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium. When Epsom salt is dissolved in warm water, the magnesium is absorbed through the skin to help replenish magnesium levels in the body. Magnesium helps promote a feeling of calm and relaxation. It also increases energy and reduces irritability. Epsom salt baths can help improve your sleep and concentration. Directions: Use at least 3 cups per bath tub. (No time for a bath? You can soak your feet with 1 cup of Epsom Salt in a luxurious Foot Spa
- Bath under candlelight? Yes please! These amazing woodwick candles crackle beautifully as they burn
- Sex - orgasm increases levels of oxytocin and stimulates the feelings of warmth and relaxation. Masturbation totally counts
- Forest bathing - the researchers found that those around nature experienced less anxiety and tension and reported feeling calmer, more relaxed, and more rejuvenated than those sitting outside in an urban environment. Go camping, hiking, do yoga in the park etc. There are endless options to spend more time outdoors.
- Lavender pillow - go-to scent for relaxation, lavender can help calm the mind and body. Smell is super powerful when it comes to transforming your mood. Directions: Place on the eyes while lying down either during a meditation or place inside your bed pillow for an all-night aromatherapy. Can make your own by placing lavender petals into a tea satchel or buy an already made lavender eye pillow
- Read an inspirational book or an article - My favorite is Gabriel Bernstein's Miracles Now, which is a 108 simple techniques to combat our most common problems—stress, burnout, frustration, jealousy, resentment etc. The stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. It's broken down into 1-2 page inspirational nuggets of wisdom, which is simple to understand and to implement
- Massage - can help relieve tense muscles, correct postural stress by increasing and improves circulation throughout the body. Plus, human touch can be extremely therapeutic and relaxing
- Hug someone - Hugging increases levels of the “love hormone” oxytocin, which is beneficial for stress levels. Psychotherapist Virginia Satir also famously said: "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth."
- Cuddle with a pet - this activity can release the ‘happy hormone’ oxytocin, the hormone that can help relieve stress and lower our heart rate
- Volunteer - don't have a pet to cuddle with? Volunteer at an animal shelter. Not only are you going to have plenty of cuddling opportunities, but you'll also be flodding your nervous system with feel-good endorphins, giving you a sense of purpose
- Shilajit is a black gooey mineral complex from the Himalyan mountains that offers over 85 minerals that help the body fight off stress
- Acupressure mat - an amazing remedy to release physical tension into the back, shoulders & neck, which is typically where we store our stress. This is perfect to combine with your daily meditation, either guided or just focusing on your breath while lying on it
- Shake off a bad mood - dance & sing to your favorite tunes has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels by altering your physical and emotional landscape. My favorites dancing happy tunes are: "I Am Love" by Kiyoshi fet. Kirsta; "Happy" by Pharrell & "HandClap" by Fitz & The Tantrums.
Food & Herbs:
- Hot tea with valerian, lavender, chamomile, tulsi, peppermint or/and lemon balm. This is one of my favorites
- Colorful foods like sweet peppers
- Organic berries & other fruit high in anti-oxidants like blueberries
- Drink more FILTERED water - Many tests show sources of city water contact sizable traces of antibiotics, hormones from birth control pills and chemicals from agricultural waste. It's in everyone's best interest to install a high end water filtration system. You should drink half of your body weight in oz, so if you weight 150 lbs, you should be drinking 75 oz of water. I always have a full stainless steel water bottle near me (and refill it often), so I never walk around dehydrated. And to make hydrating feel more like a treat than a chore, try infusing it with whole fruits & berries: raspberries, ginger, mango, watermelon etc.
- Omega 3 foods: cold-water fish (Salmon, Cod, Tuna), flax-seed oil, walnuts etc. act as an anti-inflammatory agents, reducing stress levels in the body. Note: buy either wild salmon or RESPONSIBLY farmed
- Art Therapy - has shown to significantly reduce stress levels. Whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpture, or collage—taps into your expressive, creative side, giving you an opportunity & space to process intense stressful emotions in a way that allows that energy to move through and out of your body & mind. There’s also a mindfulness aspect to art therapy that complements the self-expression element. A mind/body connection naturally occurs when people are "in the zone", fully engaged in a physical act of creation.
- The Surrender Box - whether it's a physical shoe box or a mental box where you "throw" in or surrender all of your problems, your burdens, decisions you are not sure about and let the universe handle the rest so you don't have to worry about it anymore. I recommend to write what stresses you on little post-it notes to 1) empty it out of your mind 2) to gain clarity & awareness of the stressors in your life
- Happy Spirit Playlist - Music has the ability to heal with its ability to stimulate brainwaves to resonate in sync with the beat. Create a music playlist (or borrow mine) to spark your spirit, put a smile on your face & shift your mood & energy using upbeat high vibration beats
- Gratitude Jar - This one practice has shown to significantly reduce stress levels, anxiety & depression. No matter how stressful your life may seem, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for: a roof over your head, food in your belly, the endless love from your children etc. Sometimes we just need to step back to shift our perspective & realize how lucky we are. Directions: Find any size glass jar (the bigger, the more you'll want to fill it), set it near your bedside table or somewhere visible along with a stack of post-its and a pen. Every day, write at least 1-3 things you are grateful for today. And even if you had a horrible day, focus on the lessons you've learned from these experiences. For example: My dishwasher broke recently, the things I was grateful for is: 1) saving on electricity 2) the opportunity to practice mindfulness while hand washing the dishes for two weeks 3) the invention of a dishwasher 4) deep appreciation & sympathy for previous generations who didn't have the privilege of having such an amazing appliance 5) the guy who came by to fix it 6) the warranty we had which saved us hundreds of dollars AND a new motor which will last us a while
- Gardening - has been shown to reduce the stress hormone due to its meditative properties. It offers you the quiet space for contemplation, provides a physical outlet for the tension we store in our bodies, exposes you to nature, sunlight & fresh air, which are proven mood boosters. Plus, nurturing something outside of ourselves shifts the focus away from self and this can be valuable in times of anxiety and stress
- Ashwagandha - provides energy and a rejuvenating lift while at the same time offering a calming effect
- High Quality Daily Core Micro-nutrients - feed your brain, improve mood, focus & energy. This supplement has been life-changing for me in terms of regulating my mood & keeping my energy levels up
- Magnesium - helps to relax the muscles & calm the nerves. Read more about this amazing mineral here
- Restorative/Yin Practice
EFT (EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE)
- EFT is a powerful tool you can apply on yourself NOW. Watch the Into To EFT points first.
- EFT is an amazing tool for clearing out negativity, fear & stress
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7, and exhale for 8 counts. The longer exhale is essential because it activates what is commonly known as the “relaxation response,” reducing stress and its effects on your body and mind
- Lavender - great oil for a general well-being. It will help you with relaxation, stress and tension, sleep and mood improvement.
- Frankincense - due to its anti-anxiety and depression reducing abilities, it has been shown to reduce heart rate & high blood pressure when inhaled.
- Sweet Orange - most often used as an antidepressant because it helps you clear stagnant thoughts and strengthen your focus.
- Petitgrain - orange's cousin, uplifting, calms anger and stress.
- Heavenly Pillar Points - (B 10)
- Location: One-half inch below the base of the skull, on the ropy muscles located one-half inch out from the spine.
- Healing Benefits: Relieves emotional distress, stress, burnout, exhaustion, depression, tension in the neck and heaviness in the head
- Smudging - or burning sage clears negative energy from your space allowing you to clear your mind
- Coning Technique - allows you to restore & expel stress from the body. Sit down on a chair and bring the fingers of your left hand together into a point (coning them together). Take the coned fingers and put them on the right side of your hairline, just above your forehead. Cone your fingers in the right hand, and bring them to the hairline on the left side of the head. Hold this position for 15 seconds, and then switch out which arm is on top. Hold for another 15 seconds. Each energy center is like its own Christmas light, and as you use this technique, each center gets plugged in with the other (lighting up your whole energetic body). This technique re-activates that energetic flow by energetically plugging all areas of your organs, your muscles, and your limbs, back together
- Reiki - can help to facilitate much-needed relief from tension, stress, sadness, grief, and pain, restoring the body's energetic fields bringing it back to balance & harmony
- Exercise/ Yoga on a regular bases (2-3x/week)
- Schedule a routine relaxation time: read a book, take a bath, restorative yoga practice
- Have sex more often
- Consume organic produce, dairy, eggs & meat
- foods high in salt
- processed flour
- caffeine in excess amount
- energy drinks
- refined sugar
- GMO (Generically Modified Foods): corn & soy, that can all be draining to the nervous system & can trigger the stress response
- Avoid non-stick pans from which the plastic substance can leach into your food and have been linked to stress out the body & even cause cancer. Opt for stainless steel cooking sets