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9 Ways to Break Free From Stress

9 Ways to Break Free From Stress

Meditation is thought to be the secret sauce that takes your wellness up to the status of the elite gurus. It’s considered to the “be-all and end-all” intervention for beating the infamous health-buster called “stress.”

But it’s not the only way to get there.

The entire purpose of meditating is to calm the mind and emotions and relax our physical body too. And there is always more than one way to get there.

Let’s talk about some of the other things to try if meditation is not exactly your thing.

1. Sleep in or take a nap

A common cause of increased stress hormones is lack of sleep. Too little sleep and too much stress go hand-in-hand.

So, getting enough good quality sleep is important to help you break free from stress without having to meditate.

2. Exercise

Gently moving your body is another great way to de-stress.

Activities that are slower and less intensive are ideal.

Things like walking, yoga, stretching, or tai chi can all be great ways to relax your mind and improve your strength and balance at the same time.

3. Journaling

Spending some time every day writing out your thoughts can help to relieve stress.

You can use journaling to list the things you’re grateful for; this is known as gratitude journaling.

You can use it as a “brain dump” to get all of your thoughts and ideas out of your head to soothe your mind.

You can use “ever since” journaling to describe your life after you reach your goals.

4. Reading

It’s one thing to read to learn something that you have to learn, or to advance your knowledge.

And, you can also read for pure pleasure. To get caught up in a story and just relax.

5. Colouring

Adult colouring books are all the rage! Not *that* kind of adult, but colouring pages with lots of detail and tiny areas to colour in.

Something that can take you hours. You can always opt for something simple, like kids colouring pages too. The idea is the same.

Repeated movements and focusing on the art you’re creating can help to clear your mind.

6. Pamper yourself

Maybe you love getting massages or manis-pedis?

Maybe you love a long bath or lighting candles?

Perhaps you can add your favourite relaxing music to the mix for a pampering evening?

Spending some time to pamper yourself regularly is great for your mind, body and spirit.

7. Make time for people and pets you love

It’s so important to spend time with family, friends, and pets that you love.

New research is coming out about the health issues related to loneliness.

Reach out and plan to hang out with your besties, or even offer to take your neighbour’s dog for a walk in the park.

8. Knitting or crocheting (or other crafts)

Knitting, crocheting or other yarn activities are a great way to de-stress; this is a skill that comes in all levels from beginner to advanced.

You can choose a quick little rectangular scarf to make, or a detailed sweater. You can choose the pattern, size, and yarn.

Once you get into the flow of these skills, they’re great to do when you’re feeling stressed.

Not only can they relax your mind to focus on your work, but you can end up warming yourself or others with the products you create.

9. Spend time in nature

You don’t have to head away for vacation to relax in nature. While a calm beautiful beach or cabin in the woods may be amazing, you don’t have to go that far.

Even spending time on the grass at your local park or playground, or walking on a wooded trail in your neighborhood can do the trick.

Conclusion

Stress reduction is the goal. How you do it, be it meditation or otherwise, is not that important. What’s important is that you find what works for you.

Try journaling, reading, colouring, knitting/crocheting, gentle exercise, sleep, pampering yourself, spending time in nature, and making time for people and pets you love.

Have other great ideas? Let me know what helps you de-stress in the comments below.

Recipe (calming): Lavender Essential Oil

Add up to 6 drops of undiluted essential oil to a handkerchief/tissue and inhale occasionally. Use up to 3 times per day.

Tip: Lavender isn’t the only calming essential oil. You can also use angelica, balsam, benzoin, bitter orange, cedarwood, celery, chamomile, cornmint, cumin, curry, frankincense, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, labdanum, laurel, lemongrass, marjoram, nutmeg, palmarosa, parsley, patchouli, peppermint, rose, rosewood, sage, sandalwood, scotch pine, spearmint, star anise, sweet basil, sweet orange, thyme, or ylang ylang.

In Health,

Dr. Anna ND

References

  1. Koulivand PH, Khaleghi Ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the nervous system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304
  2. Aromatherapy — Essential Oils http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=aromatherap&lang=eng
  3. The power and prevalence of loneliness https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-power-and-prevalence-of-loneliness-2017011310977
  4. Strategies for getting control of stress http://www.precisionnutrition.com/getting-control-stress
  5. 16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety
  6. Relaxation Techniques for Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm
  7. Do Essential Oils Work? A Sales-Free Look At The Research https://www.dietvsdisease.org/do-essential-oils-work/