Managing Stress Naturally
By Kathryn Drury
Feeling tense? Let these natural techniques help you relax and
If you've been feeling more stress than usual, there are natural techniques
that can help you restore your calm.
Your lifestyle can be modified to help you stay calm. If you're feeling a
little anxious, try the following:
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, and herbs including guarana, Chinese
ephedra, and ma huang, all of which are sometimes sold as "tonics" or
"energizers." They force your body to produce adrenalin, which will
make you more wired.
Take an occasional "news fast" and don't read the paper or watch
television for a day or two. You'll be amazed how little you miss, and how much
better you feel.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, author of Natural Health, Natural
Medicine (Houghton Mifflin, 1998), a half hour of moderate exercise, such
as a brisk walk, each day is a great way to stay healthy and sleep well.
However, Weil points out that it should be paired with something that helps you
process stress differently, such as yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
Pay attention to the sounds in your life. It's well known that rock music is
a stimulant, for example, but everyday noise such as honking horns can just
grate on you. A fountain, heavier curtains, or a sound machine can help block
out unwanted external stimuli.
Try a calming herbal bath, such as this one from herbalist Rosemary
Gladstar: In a cotton cloth or bandanna, mix 2 parts dried lavender flowers, 1
part hops, 1 part sage, 1⁄2 part rosemary, and a few drops of lavender
essential oil. Tie the herb bundle directly to the nozzle of the bathtub so
that the water runs over it. Run hot water through the bag until the tub is
half-filled, then adjust the temperature by adding cold water.
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