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If there’s one thing that we cannot escape, that goes hand-in-hand with life itself – its stress! We all experience stress in life, whether it’s the good kind or the bad kind, it’s unavoidable as we journey through life.
According to this study, stress has been named as the world’s most pronounced health risk by the World Health Organization. The study also indicated “stress is one of the world’s largest health problems, leading to exhaustion, burnout, anxiety, a weak immune system, or even organ damage.” WHOA!
While there is such a thing as good stress, we must avoid bad stress that gets to the point of impacting our health in severe ways.
Common Stress Symptoms
Stress can impact your body, mood, and behaviour. According to the Mayo Clinic, common effects of stress include:
- Muscle tension
- Sleep problems
- Lack of focus
- Alcohol misuse
- Social withdrawal
Three Unique Ways to Reduce Stress
One thing we can do is learn to cope with stress – explore different ways to relax and reduce stress, until we find methods that work best for each of us- for our unique nature!
We have all heard of using strategies such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and improved diet for reducing stress levels. These are absolutely effective and worthwhile ways to decrease stress.
However, for those of you looking for other ways to explore stress management- we have three well natured options for you- backed by science!
1) Nurture with nature
The power of mighty mother earth is magnificent. One aspect of that magnificence is nature’s ability to heal and soothe its creatures! Whether its relaxing at the beach, hiking up a mountain, or taking in the beautiful mosaic of colours of leaves during the fall, we have all experienced the healing touch of nature.
According to this study, spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, may reduce stress. This study also pointed to the growing evidence that supports the positive effects of visiting natural environments and green spaces on human health. The study indicated that visiting natural environments lowered both physical and psychological levels of stress.
We may not always be able to hit the beach or travel to a tropical destination. However, perhaps simply stepping outside for a few moments, spending some time in a park, forest, or garden when we are feeling stressed, may do the trick to soothe the stress. Even if we aren’t feeling particularly stressed at a specific moment, we can still enjoy the benefits of nature – yay for prevention and self-care!
We can also add a touch of soothing nature to our indoor spaces, whether at the office or at home. This can be done by using houseplants, or a relaxing tabletop fountain with natural water sounds!
GOAL OF THE WEEK If you want to try to incorporate more nature time into your day, consider this: Perhaps on your next break at work, take a walk outside. Take in the sights and sounds around you – of the trees, the birds, and the sky. Soak in the beauty. Let nature do its natural healing! Or if going outside in not an option, get yourself a plant or turn on a relaxation fountain to listen to the soothing sounds of water. The best part is – there is no effort required by you! Just enjoy.
2) Natural products for destressing
If you’re looking for another way to destress, whether quickly at home, while studying for an exam, or while sitting at work, these natural products have been shown to reduce stress:
Matcha is hailed for its many benefits and fine taste. According to this study, match has also been shown to have a stress-reducing effect on both animals and human.
Not a tea drinker? Well, this study also showed positive results on stress reduction from eating cookies containing matcha green tea! The study indicated that a key component of the stress-reducing effect of matcha, was when there was less caffeine and EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) than twice the molar amount of theanine and arginine.
Higher grade matchas that are shade-grown for a longer period of time, are known to have higher levels of theanine.
Here is a ceremonial grade matcha– the highest quality available. It is 100% organic and harvested using traditional Japanese methods. Its smooth and rich in taste, contains L-theanine, has been tested for lead, and can be used in tea or smoothies. High quality indeed.
GOAL OF THE WEEK: If you are a regular coffee drinker – which is full of caffeine, try switching to matcha green tea for one week, and see who you feel!
Known as an adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha has been used to enhance wellbeing for centuries. According to this study, multiple studies have documented the stress and anxiety reducing effects, and mood-improving effects of ashwagandha. This study also indicated that Ashwagandha root aqueous extract was beneficial in reducing stress.
- Organic Traditions Ashwagandha Root Powder can be added to drinks and smoothies. This product is sustainably grown and harvested!
- NutriRise Organic Ashwagandha Supplements offers a strong and potent supplement. Its organic, non-GMO, and has been third party tested and certified to ensure purity and potency.
3) Chew up some gum
If you are really in a hurry and need something super quick – perhaps you have a big presentation coming up at work, or you’re struck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, or someone is annoying you – for whatever stress trigger that occurs in the moment, chew some gum!
This study looked at the effects of chewing gum on stress, anxiety, depression, self-focused attention, and exam success. The study demonstrated some intriguing finding and indicated “students are recommended to chew gum before exams in order to overcome exam stress and to enhance exam success.” Now that’s interesting! This study also indicated that chewing gum reduced stress-related responses!
You can carry around a small handy pack of gum, and pop one in when needed. However, all gum is not created equal! They can have ingredients that do not agree with you, are harmful, with too much sugar.
Here is a more natural option for you to enjoy – good for your stress levels, good for your body!
- Simply Gum Chewing Gum uses just five natural and organic ingredients. Its non-GMO, vegan, aspartame-free, with no artificial flavours or preservatives. Its also plastic-free and biodegradable!
Stress is an inevitable part of life. Try out some of these strategies, backed by science, and see what works best for your nature!
Stay Well Charged.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission. Read our full disclosure for more information. This website is a participant in the Indigo Affiliate Program which allows it to earn commissions from Indigo if you make a purchase on indigo.ca after linking through this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Ewert, A., & Chang, Y. (2018, May 17). Levels of Nature and Stress Response. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981243/
How stress affects your body and behavior. (2019, April 4). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987
Kondo, M. C., Jacoby, S. F., & South, E. C. (2018, May). Does spending time outdoors reduce stress? A review of real-time stress response to outdoor environments. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29604546
Konno, M., Takeda, T., Kawakami, Y., Suzuki, Y., Kawano, Y., Nakajima, K., … Sakatani, K. (1970, January 1). Relationships Between Gum-Chewing and Stress. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4939-3023-4_43
Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Malvi, H., & Kodgule, R. (2019, September). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6750292/
Martin, L., Oepen, R., Bauer, K., Nottensteiner, A., Mergheim, K., Gruber, H., & Koch, S. C. (2018, February 22). Creative Arts Interventions for Stress Management and Prevention-A Systematic Review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29470435
Salve, J., Pate, S., Debnath, K., & Langade, D. (2019, December 25). Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32021735
Unno, K., Furushima, D., Hamamoto, S., Iguchi, K., Yamada, H., Morita, A., … Nakamura, Y. (2018, October 10). Stress-Reducing Function of Matcha Green Tea in Animal Experiments and Clinical Trials. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30308973
Unno, K., Furushima, D., Hamamoto, S., Iguchi, K., Yamada, H., Morita, A., … Nakamura, Y. (2019, May 7). Stress-reducing effect of cookies containing matcha green tea: essential ratio among theanine, arginine, caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6512570/
Yaman-Sözbir, Ş., Ayaz-Alkaya, S., & Bayrak-Kahraman, B. (2019, October). Effect of chewing gum on stress, anxiety, depression, self-focused attention, and academic success: A randomized controlled study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31125164
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