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How to reduce stress naturally

learn how to reduce stress naturally

How to Reduce Stress Naturally

Of the many ways I teach how to reduce stress is one of the easiest:  to yawn. Yes! to yawn. When you yawn, you are stimulating the vagus nerve, which starts in the brainstem and goes all the way down through the tongue, vocal chords, heart, lungs, and other internal organs. You may have never heard of this nerve before, but it is the key to turning off the “fight or flight syndrome”. When we get stressed, our body is flooded with all kinds of stress hormones. When we yawn and stimulate the vagus nerve, we are flooding our bodies with anti-stress hormones, leading to relaxation and lowered heart rate and blood pressure.

Another very easy way to reduce stress and anxiety is to simply throw a ball or water bottle back and forth from hand to hand. This is called bilateral stimulation – it works by stimulating both sides of the brain. So when you start to feel stressed or anxious, grab whatever is closest (though not your phone!) and begin tossing it gently back and forth from left hand to right and back. Do this for several minutes and feel the stress fade away. If it has comes down, but still not to where you want to feel, simply start passing it back and forth again.

The third way is one of many breathing techniques I like to share and teach. This one is called Square Breathing. Imagine a square or draw one on a piece of paper or simply trace a square on your thigh. Begin at the top left corner and as you follow that line across to the right, inhale to the count of 4. Then HOLD your breath to the count of 4 as you follow that line down. Then EXHALE to the count of 4 as you follow that line to the left. HOLD your breath to the count of 4 as you follow the line back up to the place you began. Repeat as many times as you need.

Be Consistent with Managing Your Stress

One of the keys to managing stress is to be consistent. When you are learning how to reduce stress, you are building up a new habit. The more you can incorporate these simple little exercises into every day, the more you will notice your stress level coming down. Think of it in terms of brushing your teeth: you brush your teeth to prevent cavities. When you practice simple stress management techniques like these and others I teach, you are emptying the “stress bucket” on a regular basis before it fills to overflowing.

I’d love to hear how these work for you. So take a few days to practice these and then come back to comment!

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