What is Stress?
Stress is a normal phenomenon in day to day life. Moderate amount of Stress that does not cause too much pressure helps to make an individual more alert, focused and energetic. However, excessive Stress that adversely affects the physiological or psychological functioning of an individual is considered harmful. Different individuals handle Stress differently, depending on their level of tolerance.
Basically, Stress is the body’s response to certain stressful situations, called stressors. These stressors could either be real or imagined. Under stressful situations, the nervous system releases specific hormones to cope up with the situation. These hormones help an individual by increasing his strength, stamina and focus. The signs and symptoms may be physical, emotional or behavioral in nature.
Long term exposure to Stress increases the risk of developing serious health problems both physical as well as psychological. Therefore, it is necessary to control Stress deal with such situations with a positive approach and correct counseling. In addition, natural home remedies for Stress can also be adopted in order to suppress the symptoms and remove anxiety by relaxing the mind.
Causes and Symptoms of Stress
Stress could be triggered by a variety of reasons like threat, fear, uncertainty etc. For instance, problems at the workplace, problems in relationships, financial problems, family history, prolonged medical illness, meeting deadlines etc. During Stress, the nervous system directs the adrenal gland to produce stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
These hormones speed up the heart rate, increase the metabolism and blood pressure which in turn helps to sharpen the senses and improve concentration to react quickly. Although, when the body overreacts or when it fails to reset itself due to accumulated Stress, the same tools provided by the body start working against it.
The physical symptoms of Stress are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, chest pain, hypertention, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, allergies, asthma, ulcers, fatigue, backache, and other heart related ailments in more severe cases. It can speed up the process of aging or contribute to infertility. Stress can weaken the immune system thereby paving way for a variety of diseases, even cancer.
The emotional symptoms are nervousness, agitation, anxiety, depression, irritability, mood changes, eating disorders etc. Other non specific symptoms could be procrastination, social withdrawal, or engaging in nervous habits like nail biting, pacing and so on. Certain individuals indulge themselves in alcohol or drug abuse while dealing with stress.
Natural Home Remedies for Stress
• Boil about 20-25 basil leaves in some water for sometime. When the quantity of water reduces to half the original quantity, then strain the mixture. Regular intake of this decoction is considered as one of the most valuable home remedies for Stress. Alternatively, chewing about 10 to 12 basil leaves also helps in reducing Stress.
• Taking warm water baths is highly beneficial in relaxing the body as well as the mind.
• Therapeutic herbs like ashwagandha, arjuna and brahmi are excellent home remedies for Stress. Brahmi serves as a natural memory enhancer, ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng is a natural Stress reliever and arjuna promotes effective cardiac health and heals Stress related symptoms of nervousness and anxiety.
• Applying a paste prepared from dry ginger and water or milk is useful in relieving Stress. The paste should be applied on the forehead and left for some time.
• Massaging the forehead with coconut oil or sandal wood oil helps in natural Stress management.
• Simply applying betel leaves soaked in water on the forehead for some time is also helps eliminate Stress related symptoms.
• Add some honey and cinnamon powder in a glass of warm milk and take this mixture before bed time. This home remedy should be followed regularly for relaxation.
• Another natural remedy with honey would be to simply drink a glass of warm water mixed with honey.
• Herbal teas like green tea, sage tea (prepared from dried sage leaves) etc are regarded as successful natural home remedies for Stress relief. Herbal teas have a soothing effect on the body and the mind that provides strength in dealing with Stress. Herbal tea prepared by steeping 1-2 teaspoons of St. John’s Wort in a cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes is beneficial in getting rid of Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
• Take some water and add rose petals and sugar in it. Boil the mixture and drink it to cure Stress naturally.
• Yoga and meditation serve as soothing home remedies for Stress treatment.
Diet for Stress
A diet rich in carbohydrates and fiber is considered beneficial while dealing with Stress. Therefore, foods like rice, potato, whole grains, and a variety of fruits and vegetables should be positively included in the diet. Yellow, orange and green vegetables are particularly useful in the treatment of Stress.
Also, include magnesium rich spinach, black beans, navy beans etc to help regulate stress hormones. Coriander, cardamom and mint are particularly useful in dealing with emotional Stress. Seeds like that of alfalfa, pumpkin, sunflower and sprouts help in reducing Stress naturally.
Plus, restrict the consumption of tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol and other such items that stimulate the secretion of adrenaline resulting in symptoms of long term Stress. Animal proteins and fats are also best avoided.
Besides, avoid over consumption of sugar and salt as well. Sugar gives a short term boost of energy. This may possibly result in the exhaustion of the adrenal glands resulting in poor concentration, irritation, depression etc. Salt, on the other hand, exhausts the adrenal gland thereby causing emotional instability. Apart from these measures, the affected individual may listen to light music and have a sound sleep to relax the mind.