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“Are you stressed or struggling with anxiety? There’s a pill for that.”
That’s our country’s best answer to stress relief. But unfortunately, not only do these medications have serious side effects (like nausea, decreased memory, difficulty breathing, and suicidal thoughts 😳 — no thank you!), but they also just cover up the symptom, rather than getting to the cause of the stress.
We live in a culture that prizes productivity over purpose, rushing over resting, and income over impact. Our society often tells us that if we’re not busy hustling and grinding, then we must be lazy. And with social media threatening to replace real-life relationships (not that I don’t still love social media!😉), unhealthy comparisons are common, while true connections are rare.
It’s no wonder why stress is at an all-time high and so many people struggle to find peace in this world of craziness.
But here’s the thing: stress is not just an uncomfortable feeling or negative mindset or unpleasant emotional state. Stress affects every aspect of your health — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually!
Short-term stress that is dealt with properly is completely normal and healthy. But long-term, chronic, or frequent stress is NOT healthy, and it can lead to so many health issues and negative consequences.
Just to name a few, stress can cause:
- Headaches, muscle tension, and chest pain
- Sleeping problems and fatigue
- Digestive issues
- Anxiety, lack of motivation, and depression
- Behavioral changes (overeating or undereating, drug or alcohol abuse, social withdrawal)
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Wowee — that’s nothing to bat an eyelash at! 😳 I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do whatever I can to manage stress in a healthy way and create a peaceful life, so that I can avoid those stress-related issues.
So if medications aren’t the answer, then what CAN we do to get to the cause of the problem and relieve stress naturally?? So glad you asked! ☺️
In fact, I made a Stress Busters Cheatsheet for you that highlights the main takeaways from this article that you can start implementing right away! This cheatsheet will make these strategies super simple, actionable, and easy to follow — and it’s free. Just click below to snag yours! 🙃
My Personal Struggle with Stress
I can definitely speak from experience on this one because I personally used to have wayyyy too much stress in my life. (Well, looking back I realize that it wasn’t the presence of stressful situations, but my RESPONSE to them that was the problem.)
But anyways, my struggles went way past chronic stress — to the point of living with severe anxiety and panic attacks. Growing up, I never had any major health issues. Until one day, when I was 19 years old, out of the blue, I had a massive panic attack.
My heart was pounding, I had trouble breathing, my body started tingling and going numb, and I literally felt like I was dying. It was the scariest thing I had ever experienced up to that point in my life.
That panic attack at 19 years old was the start of a 2 year battle of almost constant anxiety and frequent panic attacks.
I missed days of school at a time because I was too anxious to sit in class. My friends and classmates thought I was crazy. And sometimes my parents would have to drive down 4 ½ hours to help take care of me for a week at a time, because I was so sick, stressed, and anxious that I couldn’t take care of myself.
It was heartbreaking to know what I put my parents through, and what it must’ve felt like for them to watch their daughter — who was once happy, healthy, and vibrant — become this sick, broken little girl.
I’m so grateful that God placed the right person in my life at the right time, who taught me about what true health is and where it comes from. (And that person just so happens to be my amazing hubby now! 🙃)
I learned tons of ways to relieve stress and anxiety naturally, and live a life full of peace and joy — and now I have the opportunity to share this with you! (Isn’t it awesome how God can use our struggle to become a blessing for others?! 😌)
You might not have ever dealt with severe anxiety, but I’m willing to bet that you’ve dealt with some stress in your life. Who hasn’t, right?!
THAT is why it’s sooo important to have a toolbelt full of stress management and relaxation techniques, natural stress relievers, and effective ways to combat stress and promote peace!
Here are 6 of my favorite strategies for natural stress relief:
1. Boost Your Mindset & Elevate Your Perspective
I mentioned this before briefly, but it’s too important not to touch on again: Most of the time, it’s not the situation that’s making us stressed — it’s our RESPONSE to the situation that makes us stressed.
There are going to be stressful scenarios and struggles in this life — nobody is immune to that. A lot of things happen that are out of our control, but what we CAN control is our response and our perspective.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to create a mindset and perspective of peace:
- Gratitude Journal:
Every day, write down at least 3 things that you’re thankful for.
You can do it first thing in the morning, right before bed, or whenever — as long as you can find a consistent time to make it part of your daily routine.
It’s so much fun to look back at past gratitudes, too! ☺️ It will help you focus on all the positive things in your life, and remind you that you have so much to be thankful for.
Write down 3+ affirmations on a notecard or piece of paper, and say them (out loud!) every single day. Make sure you can really feel it — don’t just go through the motions.
Make sure they are positive, personal (use “I”), and present tense (“I am” instead of “I want to be” or “I will be”).
Here are some examples:
- “I am full of peace and joy.”
- “I am fully equipped to handle whatever comes my way today.”
- “My family and I are happy, healthy, and whole.”
- “I am making progress every day towards my weight loss goal.”
- “My business is thriving and growing every day.”
This literally rewires your brain and creates new neural pathways!! Pretty cool, huh?! 🤓 Let me explain — here’s what that means for you: Your brain is now primed to think positive thoughts, and it will do everything it can to make those affirmations come true. How powerful is that?!
- Time with God:
As a Christian, my #1 source of peace (and everything!) comes from the Lord. Spending quality time with God each day is critical for me in order to have a peaceful life rather than a stressful, anxiety-ridden life.
When I don’t make time to spend with Him, my day suffers, my attitude and mindset totally suck 😬, and my stress-levels rise.
Pray for peace — He’ll provide! Immerse yourself in peace-related Bible verses — read them daily, write them on a notecard, speak them out loud. When stress strikes or anxiety attacks, I can pray and read these verses, and literally feel the stress start to melt away.
Some of my go-to verses are:
- Philippians 4:6-7 — “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- 1 Peter 5:7 — “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
- Matthew 11:28-30
- Romans 8:37
- Romans 8:31
When you implement these strategies into your daily life, all of a sudden the things that used to stress you out, you’re able to handle so much better. The problems in your life, you now look at as opportunities. When hard seasons come, you have faith that a new season is coming and you will absolutely get through this!
Change your mindset, shift your perspective… and everything changes!
2. Create a Peaceful Environment
Picture this: You’re sitting at your desk at work. There are papers, notes, to-do lists, and random office supplies all over your desk, which makes it hard to focus. Between the constant chatter of co-workers, phones ringing, and printers printing, it’s noisy and distracting. It smells like a mixture of strong perfume and toxic cleaning supplies, which starts giving you a headache. You’re downing a coffee or diet soda, which is actually contributing to your stress levels in your body. And your work clothes are so constricting and uncomfortable, so you sometimes feel like it’s hard to take a deep breath and truly relax.
Does any of that sound familiar?? 😬 Maybe, maybe not… but I hope you have a vivid picture in your mind.
Now imagine this instead: You’re sitting at your desk at work, and your workspace is clean and organized. You have relaxing music playing softly in the background. A calming essential oil is diffusing nearby, which helps relieve stress. You’re enjoying sipping a warm cup of soothing tea. And your work clothes are comfortable and leave room for you to breathe deeply.
Umm…Yes, please!🙋🏽 How much more relaxing does that sound?!
You might be thinking, “Yeah, that sounds great and all, but my work environment could never be like that!” And I get it! But at the very least, you could implement a couple of these strategies at work, and you can definitely create a more peaceful environment at home and during your down time.
Ok, so let’s make this simple. Here are a few of my must-have essentials for creating a super relaxing environment:
- Essential Oils (either in a diffuser, on my skin, or just plain smellin’ it!) — My favorites for natural stress relief are lavender and an amazing blend called To Be At Peace!
- Calming Music — My go-to’s are the Lorie Line Radio station on Pandora, or the “Science of Sleep” (by Steve Wingfield) album on Spotify.
- Soothing Tea — I absolutely love Organic India Tulsi Teas (tons of delish flavors!), and Numi Organic Rooibos Tea.
- Create some comfort! For me, this usually means comfy clothes/PJ’s (I call them “comfies” 🙃), fuzzy socks, and a soft blanket.
- Clear the clutter! I am NOT naturally a clean freak by any means, but having a clean, organized space always allows me to feel more focused and at ease.
3. Focus on Your Nutrition
Most people understand that nutrition plays a huge role in our overall health, but a lot of people might not realize how much nutrition can affect our stress levels.
I personally live by and teach specific nutrition principles and protocols that I believe are essential for anyone wanting to live the healthiest life possible. In fact, I’ve seen people lose 20+ pounds, reverse chronic diseases, come off medications, get out of pain, sleep better, gain more energy, reduce anxiety, and the list goes on and on…because of these nutrition guidelines! So cool! 🤗
For the sake of this post, I want to focus on some specific nutrition tips that are directly related to decreasing stress. (But that being said, I highly recommend you check out these 5 Life-Changing Nutrition Tips, no matter what your health goals are!)
Here are my top stress-relieving nutrition recommendations:
- Avoid Foods & Drinks that Can Cause Stress/Anxiety
One of the biggest culprits is SUGAR! Ahh, my friends, you will hear me talk a lot about sugar. It’s so sweet, but it’s so sassy for our health! 😒
In this case, sugar causes inflammation, which can lead to anxiety and stress (not to mention pretty much any other health issue). Sugar also worsens symptoms of stress and anxiety, and prevents our body from being able to handle stress properly.
Another substance you should avoid or limit is caffeine. GASP! 😳 I can just feel the outrage that statement is probably causing right now. But hear me out: Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, which means it can cause rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and other symptoms of stress.
I get that you may not ever be ready to give up your morning cup of deliciousness or your afternoon pick-me-up — but at least consider decreasing your intake of caffeine if stress and anxiety are significantly impacting your life.
The last stress-inducing food (well, another drink actually) that I want to mention is alcohol. “But, I thought alcohol can help you relax??” Ok, there may be some truth to that — a glass of wine or a drink at the end of the day can put you in a more relaxed state.
However, drinking excessively can actually induce the symptoms of anxiety, and it leads to increased cortisol (stress hormones!) in your body.
- Add Adaptogens Into Your Diet
Adapto-what?! 🤓 These are natural substances that help your body adapt to stress and regulate hormones. Adaptogens might just become one of your best friends! 😉
Here are some of the best adaptogens for lowering cortisol and reducing stress:
- Holy Basil, aka Tulsi (I drink Organic India Tulsi Tea, as mentioned above)
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Maca (I use Navitas Organics Maca Powder — so delicious added to smoothies!)
They can be found in several different forms, including teas, powders, supplements, and herbs.
- Consider Taking a Supplement to Help
The following supplements are specifically designed to decrease cortisol levels and reduce stress (due to the adaptogens in them!):
- Max Fit (also helps with weight loss, metabolism, & energy levels — bonus!!)
- Adrenal Calm
- Pro Magnesium Formula (magnesium is proven to decrease cortisol and increase GABA, causing relaxation)
- Terrain Holy Basil
- Terrain Ashwagandha
Click on the product names above to learn more and order them online.
(As with any dietary supplement, consult your healthcare practitioner before using these products, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, anticipating surgery, take medication on a regular basis or are otherwise under medical supervision.)
Never underestimate the power your nutrition choices have on natural stress relief!
4. Exercise = Nature’s Anti-Anxiety Medication
Ok, so I’m not gonna lie — exercise isn’t always the MOST fun thing in the world, and I don’t always FEEL like doing it. But guys, exercise is pretty freakin’ amazing!
Here’s why: Exercising produces a positive feeling in our body, makes us feel happy 🤗, reduces our perception of pain, and decreases symptoms of stress and anxiety — similar to the effects of morphine!
Studies show that exercise is just as effective or more effective than anti-anxiety medications for some people — but of course without the toxic side effects!
One high-intensity workout session can reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety for several hours, and working out on a consistent basis can significantly alleviate them over time. How amazing are our bodies?! Think about THAT the next time you need a little extra motivation to work out! 🙃
Click here for more information on the best types of workouts for reducing stress, losing weight, building lean muscle, improving energy levels, and just having awesome health overall.
(Did I mention these workouts only take 5-15 minutes, don’t require any equipment, can be modified to any fitness level, and you can do them anywhere?! Yep — no excuses! 😉)
Ok, so I know we’ve covered a lot of details so far, and we still have 2 strategies left. Make sure you download your free Stress Busters Cheatsheet — it pulls out all the specific action steps from this post and puts it into a nice, easy-to-read document for you. That way you can have easy access to these natural stress relief tips whenever you need them!
5. Make Time for Self-Care
Ohhh girl, this is a big one! Between work, family life, home responsibilities, social engagements, and other commitments, it can be really tough to feel like you actually have any time for yourself.
A lot of people (especially us women) will put everything and everyone above themselves. We often fall to the bottom of our priority list. And while this may seem like a humble, caring, honorable thing to do, the truth is that it’s actually harming ourselves and our loved ones in the long run. 😕
When you don’t take enough time for yourself — to recharge, rejuvenate, relax, and replenish — then you are running on empty. When you’re running on empty, the people you interact with and the tasks you do aren’t getting your best. You can’t pour into others when you have an empty tank!
I encourage you to physically schedule “you time” on a daily and weekly basis. Put it in your calendar, and don’t let anything get in the way of it!
Weekly, do something you love to do that truly fills you up and is relaxing and fun (not something draining or stressful at all). Daily, find some time to relax and rejuvenate. It doesn’t have to be super long or something extravagant — just something simple that recharges you.
You may already know what types of activities fill you up and recharge you, but here are a few ideas if you’re not sure yet:
- Get a massage (my all-time favorite stress-relieving & recharging activity!) ☺️
- Spend time outside/in nature
- Play a sport or activity
- Play a game
- Catch up with a great friend at a cute cafe
- Read a book (not like a super-productive book — but something just for fun!! Unless reading self-improvement books are really relaxing for you…🤓)
- Play with a puppy (another one of my favorites — shout out to my sweetie, Opal Brie! 💜)
- Have a healthy dinner with your spouse or friends
- Take a mid-day nap
- Go for a walk or run
- Lay out in the sun (get your Vitamin D on!)
It’s actually selfLESS (rather than selfISH) to put yourself above others with the intention of filling yourself up, so that you can pour into others, make a bigger impact, and give the world your best self!
So with that being said, put your right hand up and vow right now that you will not feel guilty for taking time for yourself! In fact, it’s essential for leading a peaceful, productive, and fulfilling life.
6. My Secret Weapon: Chiropractic 😏💪
Chiropractic and stress relief?! Say what?? Yep, you read that right.
Most people have no idea what chiropractic is, or maybe just think it’s something that can help with back pain or neck pain. And it DOES help with those things. But that is sooo far from even the tip of the iceberg!
So how can chiropractic possibly help with stress and anxiety? Let me give you a mini anatomy and physiology lesson (it will be quick, easy, and fun — I promise!) ☺️🤓
Ok, so your brain controls every single function, every organ, every tissue, and every cell in your body. In other words, all health, healing, and functioning (including your stress levels!) comes from the brain and central nervous system. The way the brain communicates to the rest of the body is through the spinal cord, and then through the nerves.
Now here’s where the spine comes in — you ready? The spine surrounds and protects the brain stem, spinal cord, and spinal nerve roots. Ideally, the spine is aligned properly and moving freely, which allows the brain to send messages down the spinal cord and out through the nerves — which results in 100% functioning and healing for the rest of your body. What more could you want, right?! 🙋🏽
But here’s the problem: due to things like poor posture, physical trauma, chemical stress, and emotional stress, our spine can misalign and lack proper motion. And that, my friend, is not good! A spine that is out of alignment and not moving properly puts direct interference on the nervous system, which in turn can cause pretty much any health condition you can think of. 😳
And here’s how this all links to stress: When there is interference in the nervous system, your body can NOT respond and adapt to your environment and stressors in a healthy way (because remember, the nervous system controls and regulates EVERYthing!). Interference in the nervous system raises cortisol levels (stress hormones) and puts your body in a sympathetic state (think fight-or-flight mode!). Not fun!
So how does chiropractic play into this? Well, when the spine is adjusted to restore proper alignment and motion, it removes the interference to the nervous system — which takes your body OUT of fight-or-flight mode and INTO a more relaxed state.
Studies show that chiropractic adjustments decrease cortisol levels, reduce stress levels, AND (get this!): they actually alter the brain activity in the parts of the brain responsible for stress reactions, sympathetic relaxation, and processing pain! How insanely amazing is that?!
I call chiropractic my secret weapon because it’s one of THE most important things that took me from chronically-anxious, super-stressed, not-living-to-my-full-potential, to a life of peace, health, wholeness, and fulfillment!
And I’ve seen countless patients in our natural health center reverse chronic stress, come off anti-anxiety medications, and start living the life God created them for. And that’s exactly what I want for you! ☺️
If you really want to kick stress’ butt and promote peace (and overall health!) at the highest level, then specific chiropractic care is an absolute must. Click here to learn more and to find a health center near you!
I truly believe that if you apply these 6 strategies for natural stress relief (or even start with just a couple of them), you will start having more peace, more joy, and more fulfillment in your life!
To make these strategies super simple and applicable, I made a FREE Stress-Busters Cheatsheet that breaks down all 6 of these strategies and makes it really actionable and easy to follow! Click below to grab your cheat sheet!
Looking for even more practical stress relief tips? Read these 27 Relaxation Techniques & Quick Tips to Combat Stress & Anxiety Instantly.
And before you go, I’d love to hear which natural stress relief strategies you are most excited to implement — Leave a comment below! ☺️
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