Facebook Pixel

10 ways to relieve stress naturally

By HERWriter
Rate This
woman doing yoga

As a doctor, I get a lot of health questions both in my practice and in my email inbox. Today, I found one that I felt was particularly compelling, which I’d like to share with you.

Hi, Dr. Manny, can you please tell me some natural remedies for stress? – Shideh

Winter and the accompanying bad weather can be a stressful time for anybody, especially in today's day and age, with all the problems Americans are facing in this difficult economy. More and more people are suffering from negative stress. Negative stress takes a toll on our daily lives and our health and can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, anxiety and depression, among other problems, so I feel this question is very appropriate.

Rest assured, there are many things you can do before you run out to get a pill. Here’s a list of some of the most effective natural stress reducers.

1. Passionflower

While passionflower has long been considered a “folk remedy” for anxiety and insomnia, a few studies have shown that the herb may actually be comparable in effectiveness to benzodiazepine drugs, which are used to treat stress. Though not proven, it is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.

Passionflower is available in a variety of forms, including infusions, teas, liquid extracts and tinctures. It is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or nursing. Consult your doctor before adding it to your diet, especially if you are taking other medications.

2. Massage

This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Everybody loves a massage. But did you know that it’s been used as a stress reliever for thousands of years? Historically, the Chinese used massage to open blocked energy channels in order to improve health and Hippocrates, the “father of western medicine,” used friction for physical healing treatments. Today, we use massage to relax tense muscles, reduce pain and improve circulation, which can all do wonders for the mind.

3. Meditation

Add a Comment3 Comments

These are great tips...almost a creed to live by..
Try this for one week...
I guarantee... YOU will be amazed at how much better YOU will feell!!
Taking a moment for yourself..Through meditation..or a hot bubble bath with lavendar scented water.. Drink lots of water...Take Vitamin B Complex ... Eat a healthy diet, with lots of fruits and Veggies .. and EXERCISE.!!! ...Take brisk walks..... And VERY important..GET GOOD SLEEP..Study after study shows it promotes a sound mind and body...

February 10, 2012 - 8:11am

An excellent summary of "Stress busting methods" but it lacks one major self-help approach that anyone can learn, namely to reduce and calm their breathing. The majority of us in the West breathe 2-3 times more air per minute than we need, this can lead to a vast array of modern illnesses that are treated with drugs. The commonest conditions include asthma, panic attacks, hay fever, and sleep problems. Anyone can teach themselves to reverse this bad habit but some may need professional help from a respiratory physio or Buteyko educator. Just "Google" Buteyko for more information about this seriously neglected health problem.

February 10, 2012 - 2:41am

LOVE this article, and I employ many of these practices. But it really helps to remind yourself of what you do that works, as it's far too easy to let the good practices slide when the days get full. For example, I have been slacking off on my medition a bit. But today I meditated for 30 minutes first thing in the morning. I wound up having a crazy, confrontational day at work, but channelled those emotions into an excellent workout (an area in which I never slack off), and I'm not sitting here numbing myself with junk food. In fact, I feel very at peace. :)

February 9, 2012 - 8:13pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.