5 winning ways to calm the mind – part 1tweet
Although we can often benefit from a little stress to get us going, too much stress is known to damage or destroy our brain cells while seriously affecting our ability to think clearly or focus on what is really important. Fortunately you do not have to resort to prescription drugs or over the counter medications (with all their adverse side effects) to counteract the downside of too much stress – it is possible to use natural methods to reverse the stress:
1. Meditation – if stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Meditation is a simple and inexpensive method that does not require any special equipment…and the best thing about it is that you can practice it wherever you are – out walking, as a passenger in a car or on public transport or even in a waiting room. You could actually be in the middle of a stressful situation and start to meditate to immediately relieve some of the angst. Meditating is great for clearing away that information overload that these days tends to clog up our minds and contribute to our stress. When you meditate, you gain a new perspective on stressful situations; you build skills to manage this stress; you become increasingly self-aware; you focus on the present; and you reduce negative emotions.
2. Exercise – exercise and stress management are closely linked so much so that exercise can be an extremely effective stress reliever as an outlet for frustration (indulge in high energy forms of exercise such as martial arts or even boxing); or as a way of decreasing those stress hormons like cortisol while increasing the feel good endorphins to give your mood a natural high. In addition, physical activity helps to take your mind off any problems and often involves a change of scenery too, which can be a stress reliever and distraction in itself.
3. Aromatherapy – this is something completely different but just as effective in calming the mind when you incorporate the scents of essential oils into your quest for stress relief. The essential oils of lavender, bergamot, marjoram, sandalwood, lemon and chamomile have been found to relax the brain waves. Sedating oils include neroli, petitgrain, chamomile, valerian and opopanax (which is similar to myrrh). Ylang ylang is a further essential oil to both relax and sedate. When applying an oil formula, take several minutes out to indulge in slow, deep, even breathing while you imagine how, with each breath, the oil molecules are entering your bloodstream, and spreading throughout your body to relax those tight muscles and especially to alleviate any tension and strain. If you can make this a daily habit, you will benefit so much.
4. Spices and Peppers – the capsicum found in hot chilli peppers increases endorphins and other mood elevating, good feeling substances to help fight depression and relieve stress and anxiety, giving a welcome feeling of well being. An effective home remedy to relieve stress are tiny celery seeds which contain a natural compound called phthalide that reduces the level of stress hormone in the body and help to unwind tight, stressed muscles. Celery seeds also calm the nervous system by flushing out fats, pollutants and toxins which causes irritability and insomnia.
5. Music – if you can take the time to regularly listen to music you will find it to be an effective stress reducer in both healthy individuals as well as those with health problems. In one study it was found that students who listened to a well-known gentle classical piece of music during a stressful task had noticeably reduced feelings of anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure.
This is an important health subject and I have another whole list of natural ways to suggest in my next post.