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6 Herbal Remedies Guaranteed to Lower Stress Levels

6 Herbal Remedies Guaranteed to Lower Stress Levels

You know the saying “stop and smell the roses”? While you’re used to the saying’s symbolic context – that we should never let life pass us by – there are literal benefits to many of the flowers and herbs found in nature as well. The mere aroma of some flowers has been proven to reduce mental and physical stress, while others require ingestion of some form or another. Regardless, it seems that if you’re looking for new methods of relaxation, you might not have to look farther than your garden.

Cannabidiol Oil for Stress

Let’s get the controversial one out of the way first, shall we? The mere mention of cannabidiol oil can make a person perk up or cringe, depending on which side of the marijuana legalization fence they’re on. However, this just goes to show the general misunderstanding surrounding cannabis and hemp. Simply put, cannabidiol oil contains only trace amounts of THC, meaning you can’t “get high” from using it. However, it has been shown to alleviate signs of physical and mental stress and anxiety, among many other debilitating conditions. However, because it’s such a taboo topic, clinical studies on cannabidiol’s effectiveness are currently fairly scarce.

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Ginger for Anxiety

Ginger is one of the more ubiquitous herbs on this list. Not only can it be found in capsule form at your local health store, but it also is used in many different foods and drinks you may come across incidentally. Ginger has been proven to combat physical symptoms of anxiety, such as nausea and dizziness (remember when your mom used to give you warm ginger ale when you were home with a stomachache?). However, too much ginger can be dangerous if too much of it is consumed – especially for pregnant women or people taking blood-thinners. When in doubt, consult a doctor before ingesting ginger to alleviate stress.

Chamomile for Insomnia

Chamomile not only works well to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety, but it also helps cure insomnia, as well. The recommended usage of chamomile is as a tea, of which you can drink two to three cups on a daily basis. Of course, since it is usually used as a sleep aid, you’d want to drink chamomile tea in the hours leading up to bedtime. Like ginger, chamomile can also negatively affect those who are pregnant or taking blood thinning medication.

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Passion Flower for Nausea and Nerves

Like chamomile, passion flower has shown to reduce anxiety and insomnia. It also combats general unease and nervousness that manifest in the form of nausea. Passion flower comes in a variety of forms, from teas and juices to tinctures and capsules. Once again, pregnant woman should stay absolutely clear of passion flower, as it has been proven to cause contractions within the uterus.

St. John’s Wort for Restlessness

The use of St. John’s Wort is well-documented throughout history. Before the use of modern medicine became more…well, common, St. John’s Wort was used to treat mental disorders from mild anxiety to full-blown depression. In fact, it’s been shown to be more effective than Prozac when combating disorders revolving around depression. When combined with valerian root, St. John’s Wort can also help with restlessness and insomnia. However, St. John’s Wort has many contraindications, so take special care when using it.

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Lavender to Help Relax

I saved this one for last, because if you’re even remotely interested in herbal remedies you likely know all about lavender. Not only does lavender promote mental and physical relaxation, but it also balances your body’s hormones and stimulates the immune system. Lavender is best used as an essential oil (its aroma will definitely fill your house), but it also can be used as a tea. One thing to keep in mind is that lavender can cause hormonal problems in pre-pubescent males, so avoid using it if you have any young boys in your home. Otherwise, lavender can be incredibly effective in reducing anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Featured photo credit: Chris Gin / Lavender / Flickr via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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