How to Reduce Stress

Elaina Joyner, Co-editor of Kiss & Tell

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Stress is indisputably common in the United States and around the world.

Although many people have stress, they do not always know how to reduce the pressure they are feeling. Whether this includes shaking, sweating, or having trouble breathing, there are many ways to reduce these stress symptoms.

One way to reduce stress is to participate in physical activity. During stressful situations the body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. By doing physical activities it helps to lower these hormones, according to Skills You Need. These hormones are also called “fight or flight” hormones, which are designed to protect people during threatening situations.

Physical activity can help reduce these stress hormones and make the body more relaxed and calm. Physical activity, even as simple as walking, can help put the mind at ease and into a relaxed state.

“Physical exercise can be used as a surrogate to metabolize the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state,” said Skills You Need.

While exercise can be a quick and easy way to reduce stress, essential oils are another great way to reduce  symptoms, without need for any activity. Perfect Mind Perfect Body stated that lavender oil should be the first essential oil individuals reach for when they want to reduce stress and improve overall mood.

Lavender can help to treat many things but is most effective at eliminating stress. Stress can aid in compromising a weak immune system or  cause skin issues, and lavender oils can help to solve these common stress-related responses. This oil is commonly used to calm and relax the body and mind. It helps with sleep, panic attacks, restlessness, and nervous tension, which are all symptoms of stress.

“Lavender is also a nerve tonic and antidepressant, boosting our spirits as well as helping to beat ‘the blues’ that accompany immune stress and illness,” said Medical Daily regarding essential oil effectiveness

In addition, a simple, immediate way to defeat stress is deep breathing. According to WebMD, breathing deeply can help to lower heart rate, stress hormones, and blood pressure. The best way to breathe effectively is to lay on the back with a hand over the chest and stomach. Then, breathe in through the nose and fill the lungs. old in the breath for a couple seconds and then slowly breathe out through the mouth. It is recommended to repeat these steps at least four times to get the most out of deep breathing.

Furthermore, finding a relaxing and soothing space to spend time is a great way to kill stress. Dr. Molly Roberts president of the American Holistic Medical Association, says that by surrounding yourself with calm colors can help the body to relax. Colors such as a warm yellow, grey, or a muted blue can help to calm nerves. Roberts said painting these warm, calming colors act on our brains to help relax people.  

“The theory behind the use of color therapy is that colors enter the eyes, which then send messages along the nerve pathways to the area of the brain that regulates emotion,” said Roberts regarding color therapy.

Stress has many factors, but that does not make it impossible to treat. Through exercise, essential oils, and color therapy the body can begin to relax more.

Lavender is a common essential oil used to help battle stress. It can be applied to the feet to help individuals sleep or sniffed to help calm nerves. (Pete Favelle/CC BY-NC 2.0)