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Journal / Wellness
stress sucks: 5 natural ways to cope
We all know the feeling: a big presentation is coming up, you had a misunderstanding with your best friend, and your in-laws are coming to stay. And suddenly, stress takes over. Just as youre trying to cope, your skin starts acting up because of all the pesky stress chemicals floating around your body. A pimple (or three) pops up! Your dry skin is unbearably itchy! Your once-glowing complexion looks totally dull!
Chill, friend. Here are five simple steps for getting your mind, body, and spirit back to balance.
Take a Deep Breath: It can be hard to go into a full-on meditative state when youre stressed. If blissing out on meditation isnt an option, try a few simple breathing exercises to bring your focus back to your body. We like this one from Dr. Weil: Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for seven counts. Exhale through your mouth, creating a whooshing sound for a count of 8. Repeat with your eyes closed for four breaths.
Aromatherapy: According to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, stress may heighten our sense of smell. When stress hormones are released into the body, we go into survival mode and our senses naturally heighten. Take advantage of this boosted sense by using it to actually calm yourself down. Apply some soothing essential oils like our Aromatic Stress Treatment to your pulse points at the wrists, temples and neck. For an immediate chill-out, apply liberally to your palms and inhale deeply for at least five breaths.
Soothing Teas: Sip on some soothing herbal teas with ingredients like passionflower, ashwaganda or kava to help decrease stress hormones and bring your body back to balance. These relaxing herbs are known to calm the bodys response to anxiety and aid in restful sleep.
Break a Sweat: Aerobic exercise like running and swimming actually decreases the bodys levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Exercise also causes the brain to release endorphins, natural happy hormones that elevate your mood and relieve physical and mental pain. Try a brisk walk or some jumping jacks when your anxiety feels unbearable!
Dry Brushing: Like a soothing massage for the whole body, dry brushing can be a very meditative and relaxing practice. It naturally helps remedy many of the skin issues caused by stress by stimulating blood flow, exfoliating, and ridding the body of inflammation. Not to mention, it forces you to focus a few minutes on yourselfsomething that is definitely necessary when youre feeling wigged out.
No matter whats causing anxiety in your life, remember this: you are ultimately in control of how you feel and how you live! Your body, mind, and spirit deserve the care and attention it takes to keep them in top shape. Dont be afraid to spend time making sure you are your healthiest, happiest, most vibrant self.