Off Center? 8 Holistic Stress Solutions


For most of us day-to-day stress is a part of living. The experts recommend learning to manage stress rather than letting it manage you. Given that trying to schedule a lot of stress-reducing activities can be crazy-making in and of itself, your best option is to discover the techniques that work for you, and then make them an integral part of your life. 
So where do you start? Try dipping into some of these suggestions.

1.  Get Enough Sleep
For some of us, that’s seven hours a night; for others, it’s nine. If you have trouble with insomnia, be sure to keep to a regular schedule; sleep in a quiet, dark, comfortable room; avoid stimulants (alcohol, tobacco, sugar, exercise) in the evening; and establish a relaxing wind-down technique before bed. If you need more help occasionally, try a supplement of melatonin or valerian, or drink a cup of chamomile tea.

2.  Exercise Regularly
Susan Smith Jones, one of the people featured in Gene Stone’s book The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, encourages everyone to get moving. “At the University of Southern California, researchers had patients take a vigorous walk around a track, and found this one simple routine reduced the level of tension in their bodies by 20 percent,” she reports. 

3. Get Proper Nutrition
Include plenty of organic fruits and vegetables in your diet, and keep an eye on refined carbohydrates and sugars. Take a multivitamin containing A, C, E, the B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. The release of adrenalin depletes magnesium levels in our bodies. As magnesium can calm the nervous system, it’s especially important to get enough of it during stressful times. 

4.  Appeal to your Senses
A silk eye pillow will soothe tension and strained eyes. Quiet, melodic music will instill a sense of peace in your house and in your head. Essential oils of plants such as lavender and rosemary will calm anxiety and fill your room with the scent of flowers and herbs. Try a few different ways to experience aromatherapy via essential oils: add a few drops to your bathwater; blend essential oils into olive oil or cocoa butter and massage into your skin; introduce them into the air with a diffuser; put two or three drops on the surface of a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam.