Stress affects every organ in our body, including our skin – our largest organ. Living a stressful lifestyle has been shown to cause heart disease, premature aging, slow wound healing and more.
Why Do We Stress?
"Psychological stress arises when people are under mental, physical, or emotional pressure. It arises when the individual perceives that the pressure exceeds his adaptive power." (source)
What Can We Do Naturally?
To change our stress response, we must work at changing our perception of it. If we believe we are stressed, we become stressed. In the reverse, if we believe ourselves calm, we become calm.
Another thing we can do is to create habits that encourage rest and rejuvenation in our daily routine.
Use the following natural techniques to reduce stress and enjoy a more peaceful lifestyle:
1 – PERFORM YOGA OR GENTLE STRETCHING.
Yoga or gentle stretching is a great way to increase blood circulation and loosen our limbs. This flexibility in our bodies translates to flexibility in our minds.
2 - MEDITATE.
Meditation, or quiet time, can clear your mind, allowing new perspectives to enter freely. It’s also a time to reflect on whether or not you are living life with integrity and purpose which can cause undue stress.
3 – TRY DEEP BREATHING IN THE MOMENT
Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic response in your brain telling your body to relax. Short or rapid breathing signals the flight or fight response. This simple breathing trick is a powerful tool to reduce stress, especially in the moment.
4 – TURN OFF ALL SCREENS BY 9PM.
A study done by the University of Haifa explains that melatonin (the hormone secreted by the pineal gland which promotes restful sleep) production begins around 9pm. Exposure to the blue light emitted by our screens after this time signals our bodies to stay alert and awake. This causes our sleep to suffer by both reducing the time we actually sleep and reducing the quality of our sleep.
“On average, exposure to blue light reduced the duration of sleep by approximately 16 minutes. In addition, exposure to blue light significantly reduced the production of melatonin… the impaired production of melatonin reflects substantial disruption of the natural mechanisms and the body's biological clock.” (source)
5 - USE ESSENTIAL OILS DAILY.
Essential oils have been proven time and again to have powerful, yet subtle effects on our mind/body/spirit connection. “Studies also suggest that massage with essential oils, particularly lavender, may result in improved sleep quality, more stable mood, better concentration, and reduced anxiety.” (source)
Self-massage with a natural, essential oil based moisturizer is a great way to reduce stress naturally.