COVID-19 isn’t just a physical health crisis; it’s taking a toll on mental health, too. In a recent survey, seven out of 10 US adults reported that the pandemic has been the single most stressful event of their professional career.
Meanwhile, prescription rates are up. People are seeking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and treatments for insomnia to alleviate the stress of losing jobs and feeling socially isolated.
For those who prefer to nix the drugs and go all-natural, though, your options can seem limited. That’s why we want to help you learn what to do when you’re stressed using the wholistic principles of naprapathy. Keep reading for our top seven tips.
What to do When You’re Stressed: Seven Naprapathy-Inspired Things to Do
Naprapathy is, in some ways, similar to chiropractic. Both chiropractic and naprapathic medicine have the end-goal of treating pain conditions. However, the two fields go about treating pain in different ways.
In naprapathy, practitioners don’t use the spinal compression techniques unique to chiropractic. Instead, they utilize gentle, massage-like techniques alongside diet and lifestyle changes to address all aspects of pain.
Using naprapathy as the inspiration, here are seven all-natural ways to alleviate stress. As a bonus, you can also use these tips to help with pain conditions like migraine, lower back pain, and more.
1. Practice Deep Breathing
Studies show that practicing diaphragmatic or deep breathing can help alleviate stress and make you feel better.
A 2017 study looked at the effects of deep breathing across 20 sessions spaced out over eight weeks. The researchers wanted to know the effects of breathing on thinking, mood, and levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the bloodstream.
At the end of the study, researchers discovered that practicing deep breathing improved mood and attention span. Better yet, the participants had significantly lower levels of the hormone cortisol and, therefore, stress.
2. Get More Exercise
Exercise isn’t just good for weight loss. Studies show that getting physically strong helps with mental strength, too.
Like diaphragmatic breathing, exercise can help lower cortisol and levels of other stress-related hormones in the body. If you experience sleeplessness due to stress, exercise can also help you drift off faster.
3. Use Aromatherapy
Burning scented candles or using essential oils to improve your mood is called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has become something of a trend, with people reporting relaxing and de-stressing benefits from it.
If you’re considering aromatherapy for stress, here are some of the most relaxing natural scents:
- Ylang Ylang
You can add these scents to a candle, use them in an aromatherapy-specific device, or simply dab them into your skin. Of course, make sure to dilute pure essential oils before applying to sensitive skin areas.
4. Change Your Diet
Research shows that high levels of stress can lead to increased consumption of non-nutritious food. Yet, did you know the opposite is also true? Not giving your body the fuel it needs to run optimally is seriously taxing on your body and can lead to stress.
That’s why naprapathic medicine practitioners always recommend a nutritious diet in any stress management routine. Make sure you’re getting the recommended amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Plus, don’t forget about micronutrients!
Another tip to keep handy is that excessive caffeine consumption may lead to higher stress levels. Keep your coffee and other caffeinated beverages to under five cups per day.
5. Take Supplements
Natural supplements are an excellent addition to your stress management routine. Many supplements have scientific research to support their benefits for stress and even anxiety. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human health but difficult to get into our diets, which is why a supplement is ideal
- Lemon balm is related to the mint plant and is known to offer some anti-anxiety benefits
- Green tea may contain caffeine, but it also provides polyphenols— antioxidants that can improve mood through their interaction with serotonin
- Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that has multiple studies affirming its effectiveness against stress
Naprapathy professionals help their patients find the supplements that are right for stress relief needs. Keep in mind, though, that some supplements cannot be taken with prescription medications. Speak with your physician before starting a new supplement.
6. Practice Yoga
Combining the powers of deep breathing and exercise, yoga is the perfect stress management tool for people with too little time on their hands. Plus, yoga isn’t taxing on your body, making it an ideal exercise for people of all ages.
How does yoga combat stress? Some studies have found that yoga reduces levels of cortisol as well as inhibiting pain- and depression-associated inflammation. These benefits extend to cardiovascular measures like blood pressure and heart rate.
One 2015 review reported that yoga can indeed improve your mood. What’s more, the authors of this study suggest that yoga may actually be as effective as prescription antidepressants.
7. Get a Massage
Naprapathy is founded on the principle of balanced fascia. Fascia is the soft, connective tissue that holds your body together. When fascia is damaged or thrown out of balance, negative symptoms like stress and pain can result.
Naprapathic medicine practitioners use massage-like techniques to alleviate imbalances within connective tissue. It should be no wonder, then, that regular massage can help you naturally alleviate stress.
In fact, a research study looked at the effects of massage on stressed-out ICU nurses. After 25-minute massage sessions done twice a week for four weeks, these nurses experienced significant relief from workplace stress and improved quality of life.
Learn to Help Others Manage Stress at Naprapathy School
With this guide, you can feel confident knowing what to do when you’re stressed. Yet, if you’re like us, finding relief from your own daily stressors isn’t enough. You want to help others do it, too.
If this sounds like you, it’s about time you considered a career in naprapathic medicine. Learn more about the entrance requirements for our program and apply today to start the fulfilling career you’ve always dreamed about.