Managing stress is a big part of our adult lives. We hit the gym, count to ten, download meditation apps – the works. Whatever will get us through the storm, we’re often willing to try. And luckily for us, nature has a few immediate solutions to help bring us back to buoyancy — and Zenfulie has the scoop on three amazing ones below.
But First: Know What’s Happening
According to Kim Lebowitz, Ph.D., Director, Behavioral Medicine & Psychologist, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, whenever our bodies experience stress, it mobilizes itself to protect us from whatever is stressing us out:
“And that’s what we call our body’s fight-or-flight response — it’s the activation of our body’s sympathetic nervous system in reaction to an alarm or to a stress. What happens when our fight-or-flight response is activated, is that our cardiovascular system is activated, our heart rate goes up, our blood pressure goes up, and that’s to give us the energy that we need to protect ourselves in this situation.” –source
That’s a lot of activation if you aren’t …let’s say… fighting off a bear and are just trying to finish a report for work on time. And that activation, as we all know, can really wear the body out and create some serious health issues over time. So let’s be mindful of what’s happening when we allow the small stuff to become a big deal — and remember to take care of our bodies during times of intense stress.
Try Valerian Root $6.86 on Amazon
In pill form, this flower packs a power punch of calm the hell down. Used for over 2,000 of years, Valerian flower helps the nervous system to relieve anxieties and find a pace you can handle. People often use it as a sleep agent as well (so I probably wouldn’t take it if you are operating machinery or driving – use some common sense here.) But for a little namaste in the cabeza and to give your brain a bit of relaxation to help you work through your stress, this is an all natural solve that works pretty immediately. See if it’s right for you.
Take a Shot of Rescue Remedy $13.49 on Amazon
This stuff is so pure that you can even give it to your dog. A combination of cherry plumbs, rock rose, impatiens, clematis and the star of bethlehem (all flowers), it can really help bring some peace of mind in times where the shadows of life are closing in tight. It has a specific reputation for helping the body recover after or before any physical or emotional stress (so if you are terrified to give that speech to your entire company next week, this could be for you!) In liquid or spray form, the taste can be a little strong, but the effects are universally agreed upon: it works!
Throw Your Legs Up On The Wall (Viparita Karani): Free.99
This simple, restorative yoga position might be the holy grail of all relaxation tricks. If you are stressed out, you should try this asap (close your office or lay a carpet down at Target, and say you’re just testing it out. Whatever you gotta do!) This simple pose sends an immediate signal to your nervous system to calm down immediately. And according to Old Hindu scriptures, it also hides your wrinkles and will banishing old age and death. Ha! But seriously, other benefits include:
- prevents of varicose veins
- helps cure insomnia
- aids with poor digestion and circulation
- helps regulate your thyroid
- ALLEVIATES MENSTRAL CRAMPS (say what?!)
- relieves mild backaches
- calms anxiety
- relieves symptoms of mild depression
Watch the video above for the various ways to take the position, since every body is different and what feels comfortable to you will vary from day to day. One note: if you have glaucoma, you should probably avoid this pose. (Sorry, boo.)
Loving these? Needs these? Let me know how they go in the comments below.