Each of us wear many different hats - parent, daughter, boss, employee, sister, friend, artist, caretaker, teacher, student . . . Whatever it may be, it's easy to clog our mind with restless thoughts, anxious feelings or worry about what the future might bring. We go through the day reacting to what it throws at us, forgetting to live in the present.
If this sounds like you, you can ease into managing your stress better by practicing some de-stressing techniques. You can't escape the stress life throws at you, but once you understand what triggers it you can focus on managing it.
So take a minute and ask yourself: What stresses you out? How do you react to it? mentally or physically - once you understand why you are stressed out you can focus on balancing it.
photo by Amy Treasure mrandmrstplusthree.com
Why is this important? Biologically, stress was meant to be experienced in moments of danger (like a wolf lunging at you), only for a brief moment. Not on a daily basis. Chronic stress has been shown to have a lot of negative impact on our health, including (but not limited to) high blood pressure, tense muscles, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, poor digestion, depression, and can even cause acne and flare-ups for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Now forget all that, and lets focus on how to remove stress out of your mind and body. Everyone responds differently to each technique so never give up on your quest and always try new techniques until one clicks with you.
photo by Leticia Vickner @lifeandtimeofhappywife
Gather all your energy, thoughts and emotions and bring them into the present. We constantly live thinking about whats going to happen next and this is why we should focus and live in the present. We are harming our inner being with constant worry or stress of what may be or what may have happened already. A daily confirmation of living in the present, and being aware of what we are thinking and doing will give your mind peace.
Try making this part of your routine. Maybe first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or when you take a shower. Whenever you can find a quiet, undisrupted moment in you day. It is easier to remember to do something when you make it a regular part of your life.
Take a Walk in Nature
photo by Andrew Welch
Get out, and go take a walk in the woods or at your local botanical garden. If you can, walk barefoot. Reconnecting with nature through scent, touch and visuals is a great way to settle the mind and make yourself be more mindful and relaxed. The aromas, the quiet, the beauty, and the exercise all work towards creating a more peaceful you. In case you need a little motivation, did you know that studies have proven that taking a walk in nature does improve mental health?
photo by Manika Boora
If heading out of the house seems like too much effort, reconnecting with nature in other ways can also be beneficial. Try treating yourself once a week with an herbal steam. They are meant to take care of your skin, but they also give you a moment to sit quietly and indulge in natural beauty. Think of it as a botanical escape to heal your mind and body. Choose a comfortable, relaxing space to set up the steam, and sit, enjoying the experience with deep inhalation. Herbal steams open your pores, improve your skin and circulation, but also give you the opportunity to reconnect and meditate over nature and its beauty. You can also add 1 drop of essential oil to any herbal steam. This is where we go into aromatherapy.
photo by @redfox
Aromas and scents are processed by the same part of our brain that processes emotions. This means that when our nose smells an amazing aroma, we process this scent in our subconscious - and it directly affects the way we feel. For this reason, aromatherapy can be so powerful in helping you deal with daily stress.
It is important to use high quality oils - not fragrances - for aromatherapy to work. Every essential oil has unique properties and energy. Some will uplift you, others will create a sense of calm. Finding the right oils for you will be a (very fun!) trial and error process. I personally love our Tulsi essential oil blend that we use in our body oil and body scrub. This combo really helps me be in the moment, calms my mind, but also gives me a little energy boost when I am feeling down. You can also try using aromatherapy roll ons or mists (made from hydrosol and essential oils).
If you prefer to start creating your own essentials oil blends for your daily routine, I highly recommend you take a course on essential oil safety. I recommend the Aromahead Institute for their high quality online courses.
photo by Kawin Ha
Creating positive affirmations on a daily basis is a great technique to feel more alive and happier. Being thankful for what you have will not only increase your well-being but will bring out energy in you. You can practice gratitude in a number of ways including, writing a journal, directly to one another, post it notes or even photography.
This is in no way an exhaustive list of de-stressing techniques, but are some that we have found to be most effective for us. Whatever technique may work for you, remember that de-stressing techniques are an ongoing process of change, so feel free to test new ones as you are on your path.