5 Natural Remedies For Stress That Actually Work

0 comments

So, What Is Stress?

Before we get into natural stress remedies it is important for you to know what stress is and the impacts it can have on your body. Stress is defined as any demand on the body. It can be negative like injury, or positive like falling in love. However, what most of us think of when we think of stress is distress or an event or challenge that exceeds our ability to cope. It is anything that makes an organism act differently.  Sometimes we need to be reminded that even though we don’t feel stressed, we might be and our body is still experiencing its physiological impacts.

What Happens When You Are Stressed?

When we are under stress a cascade of physiological reactions happens within our bodies. Starting from our hypothalamus via our pituitary glands to our adrenals and often even in our other organs like thyroid and ovaries. This is known as HPA activation or stress response. How we all react to stress is unique and individual – but it is a major determinant of our everyday health.

Cortisol is always being released by low grade stressors – traffic jams, being late, the phone ringing or missed meals. Sometimes our bodies just adjust to stress and we don’t even notice its reaction. Our body can bring us back to homeostasis or our normal and other times we can tell, but that does not mean we are not ‘stressed’.

The problem with long term stress is that your body gets worn down by the constant stress responses, and this can damage your body systems e.g. constantly getting sick
(poor immunity and recovery).

 

1. Check In On Your Breathing

Ok it is obvious you need to breathe. But how we breathe is important. When we are stressed we shallow breathe. Which actually adds more stress! AHHHH when will it end…We suggest trying this:

Breathe in for the count of 3. 1 and 2 and 3.
Hold your breathe for the count of 3. 1 and 2 and 3.
Breathe out for the count of 3. 1 and 2 and 3.

Do this 3 times. A breathing exercise like this is simple, quick and a great natural remedy for stress. Slow breathing helps to regulate our stress response and also allows more oxygen into your body. Good things.
 
natural-stress-remedies-breathing


2. Get Outside In Nature

Go outside! This is probably one of the most easy and enjoyable natural remedies for stress. There is great evidence to show that a change in environment can help reduce your stress levels. In Japan people have practiced the art of forest bathing for years. It is a chance to disconnect from technology and not do anything. No hiking, no jogging just being in nature. Time magazine reported that the average American spends 93% indoors and by 2050 66% of the world’s population will be living in urban centres. 

A 2011 study on the physiological effects of forest bathing (or being out in nature) showed that people noticed a dramatic change from moving into a natural environment. Their heart rates fell, as the parasympathetic nervous system (our rest and digest part) significantly increased opposed to when in an urban environment. Basically - people were calmer.
This study also took cortisol levels and pulse rates from the participants to see what was happening within the body and they found that the stress hormones and pulse rates were drastically reduced within the forest environment.  

get-outside-in-nature-natural-stress-remedy


3. Find Some Chamomile

Chamomile is an age old plant that has been used for years to support our nervous system and is a great natural remedy for stress. In fact it was the tea of choice for Peter Rabbit after a pretty frightful experience with Mr McGregor. An estimated 1 million cups of chamomile are consumed globally a day!

Chamomile is well known for helping us to feel a bit calmer. You can take it as a tea to help with sleep, to help calm stomachs down and it really helps calm babies down when they are teething and have sore tummies (studies have shown that it can have analgesic actions).

chamomile-for-stress



Some of chamomile’s plant extracts and ingredients are apigenin, chrysin and pinenes and they act on brain GABA signals. This helps with calming us down and reducing our stress response.

Ideas for use:

  • Chamomile tincture or glycetract are stronger than chamomile tea so if you are needing help with sleep or anxious feelings and stress we would recommend you try them first. Often you only need a few mls of a glycetract or tincture opposed to cups of tea. So this is a better option if you are trying to sleep as drinking lots of fluids before bed might not help a full nights sleep…
  • Add fresh chamomile into your morning smoothie. A small handful is beautiful with strawberries, vanilla and plant mylk.
  • Grow some at home. Chamomile grows incredibly well. So if you do start to grow some - do be aware that it spreads.
🌿Related: You can learn more about our Chamomile Rest and Calm here

chamomile-rest-and-calm


4. Try Some Bitter Plants

Bitter plants can not only help your digestive system but can help you feel less stressed as well - weird but true. Incorporating bitter herbs, plants or vegetables has been shown to help with stress symptoms - as it helps us to utilise our rest and digest part of our nervous system more efficiently.

🌿Related: 6 Tips On How To Improve Your Digestion Naturally

But how do they act as natural remedies for stress? Bitter plants activate your bitter taste receptors that you have throughout your body. We even have some on our heart. By activating that receptor, certain plants can help not only the digestive system but your nervous system. One plant that is well known for this function is Motherwort. It works as a heart tonic, helping to support heart function and blood circulation, ‘pounding hearts’ (palpitations). Amazing huh.

artichoke-bitter-plants-for-stress


All bitter plants (for example; calendula and globe artichoke) will work similarly as natural remedies for stress; and as we know when we are a bit stressed we tend to rely more on caffeine, sugar and alcohol so our liver needs a bit of extra support around this time too. This is why we use calendula and globe artichoke in our Liver Bitters. Try incorporating the bitter taste into your day to see if you notice a difference.

🌿RelatedThe 3 Ingredients In Our Liver Bitters That Will Help You Feel Amazing

liver-bitters-natural-stress-remedies

5. Get A Good Nights Sleep

And yes we know that you know that - but still, it is so important. Sleep is when we recover, repair and rest. We have to do this to get through the next day. Chronic stress can cause issues in the long run, one in particular is inflammation so we need to try and get some good sleep each night. 

It seems a cruel thing to say because when you are stressed - sleep is elusive. 
But try the following natural remedies for stress and see if you can get some shut eye:
  • Sleep at the same time each night if possible
  • Reduce screens an hour at least before bed
  • Activate blue screen filter on your phone/tablet if using
  • Stretch before bed
  • Have a warm bath with Epsom salts to help you to feel relaxed
  • If you wake up don’t do anything fun. Don’t look at your phone or read. You don’t want to be stimulated at all as it will make it harder to get to sleep
  • Don’t eat too late in the night as your body will then be trying to digest that food opposed to winding down
  • Try the chamomile tincture/glycetract suggestion from remedy 3
  • Add a plant to your bedroom! They help to purify the air - one in particular is Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother in laws tongue)
  • Or add some fresh lavender plants or a spray on your bed linen

 

Skye MacFarlane- Naturopath/Medical Herbalist for Wild Dispensary

AdviceUse as directed. Discontinue if any irritation arises. If symptoms persist see your health care professional. 

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
Yay! Now check your inbox to confirm your subscription
This email has been registered
ico-collapse
0
ic-cross-line-top
Top
ic-expand
ic-cross-line-top