11 Ways to Reduce Stress and Relax

Looking for ways to relax and reduce stress? Try out some of these 11 tips:

  1. Stop and practice some calming breathing exercises
  2. Press your palm in the center with your thumb of your other hand to release tension
  3. Get some Chinese meditation orbs and roll them around in your hand to bring about calmness
  4. Drip some cold water on your wrists or behind your earlobes. Cold water has a refreshing effect on the body
  5. Take responsibility for your emotions – you are the only person responsible for how you feel
  6.  Collect 100 or so positive affirmations  and use them when you need to
  7. Surround yourself with positive images by doing things like taking a walk in a park or having fresh flowers in your office
  8. Do something that you are good at to make you feel better about yourself and things in general
  9. Be inspired by clouds
  10. Meditate
  11.  Take baby steps to get where you want to be

A guide to herbal teas

I drink a lot of hot tea. At first, I started drinking hot tea because I was not a coffee fan but I wanted to have something with a little bit of caffeine in the mornings. However, now I am a bit of a coffee addict and gotta have that caffeine. So that means tea is usually a before bed beverage for me. And if I get cold during the day I have some or if I am not feeling well.

Here are some ingredients you can find in various types of herbal teas and what they can do for you health-wise that you might not have been aware of.

Peppermint

Having some tummy problems? Tea with peppermint in it can take care of any indigestion problems that you might be having. According to my research, fresh or dried mint tea is a great way to ease stubborn indigestion and gas and to quell nausea and vomiting. You should be careful not to grab a tea that has another mint, like spearmint, because only true peppermint contains the digestive aid menthol.

Ginger

A lot of times you will see a tea that has both ginger and peppermint in it. Guess why? They both cure the same tummy problems. Ever heard someone tell you to drink ginger ale if you have an upset tummy? Ginger tea has the same purpose.

Thyme

If you are having some chest cough type of problems look for some tea with thyme in it. Thyme reduces cough, bronchitis, sinus pressure. Sip on some thyme tea to help relax the bronchial spasms that trigger coughing due to colds or bronchitis.

Passion flower

Having trouble sleeping? Look for some tea that has passionflower in it. Passionflower has have proven, gentle sedating qualities. In fact, passionflower is recommended by herbalists as a top treatment for insomnia, and it is especially helpful when sleep is disturbed by anxiety.

Lemon balm

Feeling restless? Have some anxiety issues? Try some tea with lemon balm. Drink some of this before bed as it helps tame tension, nervousness, and a mild case of the blues.

Chamomile

I am sure that we all know that chamomile tea is supposed to be relaxing, but there is more to it than that! It is a mild, relaxing tea that contains oils that relax the smooth muscles in the stomach. If you have about three cups daily it will ease indigestion, irritable bowel problems, and colitis. And not to mention it is a great way to relax before bedtime.

 

8 silly things we do that we know are bad for our health

It seems that for everything that we say we are doing for “our health,” we are doing at least two things that are bad for our health. Now, I do not have any scientific information to back up those numbers. That I know of, no studies were done  on it. It just seems that way in my experience.

See, I do not wear a lot of makeup. In fact, I do not wear any. I think it is bad for your skin and I think I look okay without it. I do not dye my hair because I am afraid that it will end up feeling like straw.

I don’t wear moisturizers like I should. I don’t wear sunscreen like I should. I blow dry my hair regularly. Every few years I get a body wave perm to give my hair some volume – and damage it like hair dye!

So, in my experience even though I try to do good, I’m still doing some things that are not so good for my body. But you know what? I think most of us are like that. In fact, I think most of us make a lot of silly health mistakes. Here are 8 of what I think are the most common ones:

  1. We over-indulge. Yes that gooey fudge brownie is delicious. And bad for the hips. And thighs. And, well, you get the picture. Of course, sometimes we do not let that stop us. It is so easy to over-indulge and so hard to not!  And if you go out to eat it is even more difficult since the serving sizes are so large! So, what do you do? Eat off of smaller plates. It’s a sort of reverse psychology on your self, but it tends to do the trick for me.
  2. We tan. If we are not going to a tanning salon we are out by the pool or the beach soaking up those cancer rays. And we know that it’s bad for our skin, but we do it anyway in the quest to be dark and beautiful. Fortunately for me all it took was a few close family members getting skin cancer and an aunt getting what I call “leather face” to stop me from tanning. Now, if I can just remember the sunscreen when I’m out.
  3. We don’t drink enough water. The health benefits of water have long been touted, but we’d rather sip on a Diet Coke. For me the problem is that I like flavor and I suspect that is a lot of people. Well, I have found two ways to make drinking water more enjoyable.  A slice of lime in some cold water offers up a burst of flavor. And if I don’t want to do that I grab a Smart Water.
  4. We smoke or drink. I don’t care what you say, your face will give away if you smoke or drink. Not to mention your hair, smokers. My friends that are smokers have the driest and most brittle hair ever. It’s kinda gross. And when one of them stopped smoking her hair got so much healthier – until she started again! Let me just say this – smoking and drinking ages your face. It’s not a joke and I can’t point to a study on it (but there may be one). The people that I know that regularly drink and smoke look way older than their age. It can’t be a coincidence.
  5. We don’t get enough exercise. Again we know how good for us it is, but we don’t do it. I know, it seems like such a chore. I have a lot of difficulty myself getting motivated to go to the gym. The solution I have found is showering once a day at night after workouts. See, at first I was showering in the morning, working out after work and then showering again. That is why it seemed like such a chore. Now I know I’ll have to shower at night regardless, so I may as well work out. Of course, sometimes it’s still hard to get motivated.
  6. We don’t get enough sleep. Guilty! It just seems like there are not enough hours in the day sometimes and as a result time gets taken away from sleeping. But don’t we regret it the following day! Nothing but walking around all groggy. The key here is time management.
  7. We don’t go to the doctor regularly. Guilty again! I hate going to the doctor. The dentist too. But you know what, discovering something sooner rather than later is a lot cheaper in the long run. The key here is preventative maintenance. While it makes us sound like automobiles, it is true. A few years ago I had a cavity that I kept putting off getting filled. Well, I waited so long that the tooth got so decayed I ended up needing a crown. That’s WAY more expensive!
  8. We don’t take time to de-stress. Rush hour traffic, hectic meetings at work, rush hour traffic again, making dinner for the family – where is the de-stress time in all of this? We run our body down by not giving it a chance to recharge and de-stress. And that’s insane because stress causes all sorts of health issues! If you need some ideas on how to de-stress check out my post on 41 ways to de-stress.

41 ways to de-stress

Too much stress about school exams...
At the end of a particular horrible day, or even just a long week I am in dire need to de-stress. An afternoon of rush hour traffic tends to have a way of really stressing me out, ya know?

I don’t like to be stressed. I don’t like the way it makes me feel and we all know that it’s not good for you. So, that means that once you are able to navigate your way through whatever is stressful there is another task to tackle – the de-stressing of you.

Here are some ways to de-stress:

  1. Take a walk
  2. Listen to a nature sounds machine/cd
  3. Listen to calming music
  4. Use some essential oils to relax
  5. Take a hot bath
  6. Meditate
  7. Exercise (yoga is proven good for stress)
  8. Punch a pillow if you need to
  9. Scream into a pillow if you need to
  10. Lay down and relax
  11. Watch some cartoons (I’m a big fan of Adventure Time)
  12. Watch comedy central or something else funny (I’m partial to baby goat videos )
  13. Light some aromatherapy candles
  14. Have some hot tea (chai is my fave)
  15. Focus on your breathing
  16. Think about the most beautiful place you’ve ever been too
  17. Look at a sunset cam online
  18. Play a game online
  19. Pick up a good book
  20. Paint something
  21. Create something (art therapy is proven de-stress technique)
  22. Write in a journal
  23. Stay away from caffeine
  24. Walk by the beach (proven that water is calming) or get in it and float or something!
  25. If you have stairs, run up and down them or just run in place (free cardio!)
  26. Have your own air guitar championship in front of a mirror
  27. Work in your garden if you have one (it’s good for your health!)
  28. Play with Legos
  29. Call a friend
  30. Write a friend
  31. Hug someone (preferably someone you know or you may end up with more stress!)
  32. Dip cookies in milk
  33. Dig out some crayons and color (everyone has crayons, right?)
  34. Smile, even if you have to push up the corners of your mouth
  35. Stand on your head – as soon as all the blood rushes to it you’ll forget were even stressed out
  36. Take a trip or vacation
  37. Go swimming
  38. Laugh with someone, and if you can’t laugh find a garden gnome as it’s certain to make you laugh (there’s just something ridiculous about garden gnomes)
  39. Make something with modeling clay, or play-dough
  40. Put on some music and dance around your room like a crazy person
  41. Sing at the top of your lungs along with your favorite song

Have any tips to add to the list?