The holiday season can be a wonderful time to spend with friends and family. However, for many, it is a period of high stress and anxiety. Here are some suggestions on 5 top ways to reduce Holiday Stress!
1. Forest Bathing – Forest bathing has been promoted since 1982, and it encompasses the concept of spending time in wooded areas and ‘bathing’ all the senses. There are many benefits including lower blood pressure, lower pulse rate, lower stress hormones, lower anxiety, better mental clarity, and a significantly increased sense of well-being.
2. Aromatherapy – Research supports the fact that many Americans are suffering from moderate to high-stress levels with 44% reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past 5 years. The most common symptoms of stress include mood changes, fatigue, and changes in sleep. Worry, irritability and feelings of sadness are also common. While essential oils can’t take away all the stresses of modern day living, aromatherapy has been shown to relieve many symptoms of stress when used regularly and can be a quick way to brighten your mood. It’s thought that some of aromatherapy’s effectiveness in the emotional realm occurs via the brain in a region known as the limbic system (aka the emotional center of the brain).
3. Reading – Many people read to gain knowledge about a given topic or because they enjoy a specific form of literature, yet reading is also a great way to lower your pulse rate and remove yourself from life’s daily challenges. Many successful people actually schedule an hour out of each day to read, as it can help clear their head and sharpen their focus.
4. Meditation – There are over 3,000 scientific studies on the benefits of meditation. Wise Zen masters agree that you should meditate at least 30 minutes a day unless you are too busy–in which case you should meditate for an hour! Give it a try, even if it is just for 5 minutes – starting with a small habit is the first step to consistently achieving it. Also, try to meditate first thing in the morning; beginning your day with a meditation session is a great way to center yourself and maintain a peaceful feeling throughout the day. As it’s often said, “If you don’t like medication, try meditation. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
5. Exercise/Yoga – Of course we are all well aware of the physical benefits of exercise and yoga, however, there are many psychological benefits as well. These include increased energy levels, lower stress levels, and improved self-esteem. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to notice the results of exercise. A brisk walk 30-minutes each day can do wonders for both your physical and emotional state.
I highly recommend you try some, if not all of these techniques if you are beginning to feel overwhelmed. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health and these tips are aimed at helping you improve both.
Written by: Dr. Eric Fishman, aka Dr. MONQ. Dr. MONQ is the founder of MONQ personal essential oil diffusers and is an expert in the field of holistic healing, aromatherapy, yoga and forest bathing.