Normally, most of us spend some much of our week rushing around that when the weekend comes, neither are we prepared to unwind, nor do we even consider before hand ways in which to invite relaxation and calmness into our lives. As a result, when Sunday night rolls around and the thought of the week begins to play havoc on our brains, we once again launch ourselves into do-mode without having had the proper amount of down time in which to allow our bodies and minds to recover.
Fox News recently posted an article on 10 natural relaxation techniques to beat stress. Included in the list, of course, is meditation. Also on the list is the use of aromatherapy, massage, diet, and exercise. Not shockingly surprising suggestions, but it serves as a gentle reminder to practice what weekends are made for – to relax!
While passionflower has long been considered a “folk remedy” for anxiety and insomnia, a few studies have shown that the herb may actually be comparable in effectiveness to benzodiazepine drugs, which are used to treat stress. Though not proven, it is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you feel more relaxed.
Passionflower is available in a variety of forms, including infusions, teas, liquid extracts and tinctures. It is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or nursing. Consult your doctor before adding it to your diet, especially if you are taking other medications.
This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Everybody loves a massage. But did you know that it’s been used as a stress reliever for thousands of years? Historically, the Chinese used massage to open blocked energy channels in order to improve health and Hippocrates, the “father of western medicine,” used friction for physical healing treatments. Today, we use massage to relax tense muscles, reduce pain and improve circulation, which can all do wonders for the mind.
Meditation, or mindfulness, only takes 15 to 30 minutes a day, which is possible even in a packed schedule. It’s also incredibly affordable, considering the only tool you need is your own mind. Just give yourself some silent time to let your thoughts run free or just focus on your breathing. That small amount of peace in your day can help you deal with or even release stress.
Read how meditation and other natural healing methods can help relieve your stress and anxiety here.