Stress is a natural part of life. And while beneficial in small doses, a large amount of stress can cause harm to a person’s mental and physical health. The detrimental effects of stress may include anxiety, chest pain, frequent headaches, rapid heartbeat, and weight gain or weight loss.

If you are a person who suffers from the detrimental effects of stress, whether frequently or infrequently, it is important to learn a few techniques to help you manage your stress levels and overall well being.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the practice of using naturally extracted aromatic essences, also known as essential oils, from plants to balance the body and promote mental and physical health.

There are several types of essential oils that are used to reduce tension and promote relaxation. Essential oils that may help relax your body and calm your mind include chamomile, marjoram, lavender, lemon, rose, sage, and ylang ylang.

Essential oils can be either applied directly to the skin or used in a diffuser. If applying to your skin, make sure the oils you select are meant for use on the body, and be sure to perform an allergy test before applying to a large area. To use a diffuser, place a few drops of the essential oil of your choice inside and allow the aroma to slowly permeate into the air.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing, also known as controlled breathing, is beneficial when it comes to reducing stress levels. In addition to loosening rigid, tense muscles and promoting relaxation and sleep, deep breathing can also improve your body’s nitric oxide levels, which can in turn lower your heart rate and combat high blood pressure.

To reap the benefits of deep breathing, the American Institute of Stress recommends that deep breathing sessions range from 20 to 30 minutes.

Gentle Stretching

Gentle stretching can make your skeletal muscles pliable and supple. Incorporating a stretching routine helps blood flow to the brain and skeletal muscles, and also increases your threshold to pain.

All parts of the body can benefit from gentle stretching. For example, rotator cuff stretches may help strengthen the shoulder area while also improving your full range of motion and blood flow.

Sources:

http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/diffu.asp

http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2013/05/14/breathing-and-your-brain-five-reasons-to-grab-the-controls/

https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/what-is-aromatherapy/

https://www.naha.org/

http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/rehabilitation-exercises/shoulder-exercises/rotator-cuff-exercises

http://www.stress.org/take-a-deep-breath/