10 Natural Stress Relievers

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

1. Exercise - this is a great way for your brain to produce feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Some call it "runner's high" but you feel as great at the end of a Zumba class. Doing what you love is the way to go about it. 

2. Rest - there are many benefits to resting. It gives you a much needed "reboot." It helps you get a better perspective on life's circumstances and it gives your mind a chance to start fresh. 

3. Deep breaths - without getting too weird, taking deep breaths helps you relax. It does something magnificent with your cardiovascular function. I remember taking deep breaths when I was nervous as a child. It has been a great practice. 

4. Bible reading and meditation - getting focused on the word of God is a natural stress reliever. I get to reestablish my foundation in God's promises. His word which does not return to Him void, which means, it works!  

5. Take it easy - life is not what it used to be, so respect this new season and don't put more on your bucket than you need to carry. Your stressful situation is only for a season. 

6. Meet a good friend for coffee - seeing a friendly face is naturally relaxing. I think that good friendships are naturally relaxing. Make a point to see a human being who loves you when you're under stress. 

7. Recognize - it's important to admit that you're stressed. Neglect just makes things worse. Once you recognize it, you can treat your symptoms accordingly. Recognition targets the problem so you can proceed to a solution.  

8. Counseling - professional counseling really help us get to the root of the matter and take steps towards solving our issues. I am a firm believer in professional, Christian counseling. I have benefited from sessions with a counselor during times of high stress in my life. 

9. Go on vacation (or staycation) - remember those commercials of people sunbathing on a sandy white beach? None of those folks look stressed. While most of us just can't take off to a beach, we can leave our usual places and go to a local park just to enjoy nature. Even if all you have is 15 minutes, it helps sooth your mind and body.  

10. Write on a journal - before running, journaling was the only thing I had to relieve stress. It's a great tool because you get to get your feelings out on paper. I remember feeling much better after writing a few pages. I was also able to process things better that way.

I want to encourage you to know yourself and get a couple of natural stress relief tools on your pocket. Life offers you stressful situations at times and it's great to know how to navigate through them. It is my personal conviction that one should not medicate stress with illegal drugs and bad habits but one should cut the problem by its root. We all go through stressful seasons but we were not created to dwell under stress. Seasons change and as we learn to navigate through stressful situations we will rise as better, more mature human beings. 

• What are your favorite natural solutions to cope with stress?