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How To Breathe Better? Remedies To Clear A Stuffy Nose

How To Breathe Better? Remedies To Clear A Stuffy Nose

There is nothing fun about having a stuffy nose. It’s drippy, annoying, and you can’t do anything without having to breathe through your mouth. Physical activity becomes tough, you can’t talk or eat without breathing heavy. This is not to mention the constant blowing, the red irritated skin around your nostrils, and (this is the worst) losing all sense of taste. Let’s face it, stuffy noses are miserable.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that stuffy noses are not actually caused by mucus buildup. This is hard to believe, especially when in the midst of a cold when you have what seems to be the never ending supply of mucus. In truth, a stuffy nose is a result of inflamed blood vessels. The three most common causes of stuffy noses are as follows:

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  1. The Common Cold/Flu/Or Virus

  2. Sinus Infection

  3. Allergies (hay fever)

Although, stuffy nose symptoms will, as a general rule, dissipate on their own within a week (or two), that doesn’t help relieve discomfort in the moment. Here are some remedies that you can use to help clear the sinuses and reduce inflammation.

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Eucalyptus

There’s a reason I put this one first. This is my favorite remedy to relieve stuffy nose symptoms. Studies have shown that eucalyptus oils have extreme health benefits, including increased circulation, decreased bacterial cells, and being a decongestant for the stuffy nose. The University of Maryland Medical Centre explains that oil from the eucalyptus tree are often found in over the counter remedies such as cough syrup, vapor rubs, and other such cold products designed to relieve congestions.

There are many ways to use this essential oil to relieve your stuffy nose. An aromatic diffuser is extremely helpful. A diffuser is similar to a humidifier, but it works a little different. I like to put a few drops of Eucalyptus oil in my diffuser and let it do its thing. The diffuser creates a fine mist of essential oils. Aromatherapy also has a lot of health benefits besides relieving your stuffy nose as does the eucalyptus, so no matter how you look at it, it’s a good practice. You can also use the essential oil to create a facial steam or simply set it beside your bed and let it sooth you to sleep. Although, the latter two methods may not be as effective as the aroma diffuser for your stuffy nose, it certainly does help.

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Ginger with honey and lemon

Here again is another natural remedy to help ease your stuffy nose. Ginger is an amazing natural herb that can help clear your nasal passages. Ginger is incredible, everyone should eat it. Did you know that ginger has cancer fighting properties? Because ginger is packed full with antioxidants that ward off free radicals, it will work hard to rid your viral infection. You can either use freshly grated ginger or you can buy a ginger tea. Both methods are equally effective, although I prefer the fresh. When paired with honey and lemon (both of which are also very good at relieving stuffy noses) it’s an unbeatable task force. Oh, and one more thing: try adding a touch of cinnamon. It might not rid your stuffy nose, but is sure does taste good. Oh! And it helps lower blood sugar too.

Mint

I love mint. It smells so good and it’s super easy to grow. You might wonder how it helps a stuffy nose? Mint is another one of those herbs that has many benefits, however, the most notable here is that mint clears the nasal passages, reduces inflammation within the respiratory tract, and eases symptoms of asthma resulting in relaxed breathing. There are many ways to use mint to relieve a stuffy nose. Here are just a few ideas.

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  1. Boil water and pour it into a bowl with crushed mint leaves. Create a tent over your head with a towel and breathe in the steam.
  2. Pour a cup of water and add mint leaves and let them simmer with blueberries (another great antioxidant). Let the fumes caress your nostrils. Again, as with ginger, you can add honey and lemon to the water to help relieve your stuffy nose even more.
  3. Sleep with a mint plant on your bedside table.

The poet Giovanni Papini said, “Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.” When you have a stuffy nose it robs you of this pleasure. If you find yourself suffering from stuffy nose symptoms, try one of the above natural remedies. In the long term, remember rest is key to fighting off any problem in the body. Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and create a relaxing and stress free environment. When your body speaks to you, you know it’s time to take special care.

Featured photo credit: BY VIKTOR HANACEK/https://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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