We are living through stressful times filled with natural disasters, pandemics, terrifying cycles of news and weather, and a constant talk of doom and armageddon environmental, economic, and military. In reality, it’s more amazing that we haven’t completely come undone mentally already, but somehow we endure.
One way that we get through difficult times is by finding effective ways to relax that don’t involve harsh medications like antidepressants. Doctors may champion the effectiveness of medications, but there’s just no denying that being able to relax without them is healthier and a better path to happiness and contentment. Here are some non pill-related ways to relax.
1. Explore Natural Relaxants Like Kava
Peoples of the Pacific islands have long held to the health properties of the kava root. Dried Waka root powder is excellent as an example of the type of kava product you can purchase and easily prepare yourself at home. Kava has a strong relaxation effect that’s not dissimilar to alcohol, but without the inebriated physical impairments that come with it, nor the hangovers that come after.
Kava isn’t something to take lightly, or carelessly. Like many supplements it can have negative effects if used outside of recommended guidelines. When used as intended however, it can really help stress and worry melt away and allow you, for instance, to spend a pleasant relaxed evening at home before getting a great night’s sleep, waking up more refreshed and without any after-effects.
2. Work on Your Breathing
Some people think breathing is hokum, but they’re wrong. Something as simple as taking a moment to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and really focus on breathing for a minute or two can do wonders for your mental state. Many smartphones and watches will now remind you every now and then to stop and take a moment to breathe. Deep and focused breathing is perhaps the simplest, most effective daily therapy anyone can take up, and it’s absolutely free.
3. Spend Time with Family and Friends
So much of our lives since 2020 has been about isolation and separation. As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to reconnect with our friends and family and restore those regular hangouts that we enjoyed before the pandemic. Social connections are a big part of what keeps us mentally stable and healthy. Even if all you do is invite some friends over for a beer and some video games, or to watch movies, or just to have a chat, get it done and feel the stress start to dissolve.
4. Indulge in Citrus Fruits
If you can’t get hold of kava root to relax, then try something simpler like an orange. There’s evidence that shows that scent of oranges — among other citrus fruits — is a natural mood enhancer and stress reducer. It can even work to enhance cognitive performance and reduce other food cravings. That’s good if one of your natural responses to stress is emotional eating.
5. Find Healthy Release for Tension and Ill feeling
If you’ve been building up stress and tension for a long time, then you need to find healthy ways to release it. Some find avenues that involve physical exercise and sport the best way to do that, especially things like boxing and martial arts. With every punch or movement of their arms and legs, they feel the stress exit their body.
The less athletic among us can find it in the form of laughing at both new and familiar TV shows and movies, as well as by pushing our stress out of our mouths into a karaoke microphone or into the shared noise of a church choir. Yes, singing is a terrific (and healthy) release of energy and a positivity builder.
There are potentially hundreds of ways to destress and relax in a healthy way. Take time to explore them and find avenues that work for you.