So, you got that all-important test coming up next week? Or maybe your overpaid boss is breathing down your butt about how you couldn’t meet a deadline in an ICU ward. Ahhh, I get it; perhaps it’s something that we can all relate to here like being late on your rent or mortgage.
With literally hundreds of thousands of increasingly demanding tasks that never seem to end, it’s only natural that you start to feel stressed about it. With all these thoughts on your mind and pressure on your shoulders, it can be admittedly hard to take a step back and relax. I mean, the bills aren’t going to pay themselves, right?
That’s right, but then again, constantly worrying about it won’t get them paid either. When it comes to my readers’ health, you know that dear old Olivia here doesn’t mince her words. The truth is that life is not a bed of roses; and the only way to come out on top is to find a way to deal with obstacles without losing your mind.
Most of our jobs have us working the 9 to 5 for 6 days a week all year round with only a few days holiday at the end of the year to unwind. Does that sound right or remotely natural to you? Hey, look; I’m not here to tell you to quit your job, sell your house, buy an RV and start living naked in the mountains (I tried it for a year, didn’t work).
What I am saying is that you need to find a way to grab some you-time, calm things down a tad, grab some RnR, book a BnB, have a little TLC and all those cool abbreviations about relaxing. OR ELSE…
Why Do I Need To Relax?
That’s right; I just dropped an “or else”. You’re grown up guys with kids and responsibilities, so I won’t even get into why you need to relax. What I will do is tell you all about what will happen if you don’t. There are very dire and severe consequences of treating your body like a robot. If you’re human, then you have to acknowledge that you come with emotions, feelings, and all the aches, sores, and pains that come with running a machine made of meat and bones.
So, what happens when you ignore your mind and body and keep pushing? The worst case of stress, burnout, fatigue and maybe even a breakdown. That finicky, fastidious, flustered and frustrated feeling you’re getting is what is referred to as stress. We all know it, and all the medical experts tell us to avoid it at all costs. But as you’ve no doubt realized, it’s easier said than done.
Stress is a killer, and it’s the number one reason why you need to take a step back and relax whenever you can before things get out of hand. Unfortunately, most people don’t even realize that their bodies are begging for a break. So, how do you know that you are long overdue for some RnR? Your body will let you know with the following symptoms of stress.
Stress And Its Symptoms: What Healthy Relaxation Helps Avoid
Stress is the body’s way of responding to any mental, physical or emotional threat, demand or pressure. It does not matter if the threat is solid, real or imagined; the body’s auto-defenses will immediately kick into high gear and initiate an automatic process known as fight or flight reaction.
So if you really think about it stress in itself is not totally bad. But just like any other known defense mechanism, stress can become harmful if taken too far. When humans react to stress correctly by identifying their problems and implementing solutions, then it can be fully credited with motivating us mentally and physically.
Stress can help you stay energetic, focused and even alert. It can actually save your life by giving you extra strength in the event of an emergency. It’s what keeps you on your toes, sharpens your focus and concentration and drives you to study for an exam when you really want to laze around and watch TV or play computer games. However, it’s what comes next that separates good stress from bad, chronic and destructive stress.
While stress helps you perform at your best, think about how being tense all day and night can affect your mind and body. Once stress becomes adaptive and you are constantly running in emergency mode all the time, then your mind and body will definitely pay the price.
Being suppressed under piles of bills, deadlines, and other triggers could cause chronic stress. Which may then escalate to serious health issues like anxiety and depression, insomnia, heart disease, memory issues, weight problems and many more ailments. This is why you need to protect yourself by learning how to recognize signs of stress as well as the steps you need to take to calm your mind and relax your body.
Signs and Symptoms of Stress
- Feeling overwhelmed as if you’re losing control
- Low self-esteem and loneliness
- Depression and tearfulness
- Difficulty relaxing and easing your mind
- Becoming easily frustrated, moody and agitated
- Nervousness and shaking
- Racing thoughts and constant worry
- Inability to focus
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
- Low energy and fatigue
- Headaches and migraines
- Body aches and muscle pains
- Chest pains and rapid heartbeat
- Decreased sexual function
- Changes in appetite
- Increased drug or alcohol use
Long-term stress can cause serious health issues such as
- Mental health problems
- Menstrual problems
- Cardiovascular diseases such as palpitations, abnormal rhythm, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke
- Sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation and impotence
- Hair and skin issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis
- Gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, GERD, and gastritis
Stress Management 101: Different Ways To Relax On God’s Green Earth
Now that you’ve seen the consequences of chronic stress and worry, it’s clear that relaxation is more than a comfort or luxury – It’s a necessity, something that has to become ingrained in our day to day lives to help our minds and bodies cope.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to relax, calm your mind and avoid stress altogether using healthy natural techniques. The bad news is that pharmaceutical companies and even drug pushers know that people are desperately looking for ways to relax. That’s why more and more calming medications are being developed with the aim of ‘treating some so-called anxiety disorders’. And this is where we start our segment on stress management.
1. Prescription Medications
The funny thing is that no medical site or even hospital recognizes these drugs as ways to relax; instead, they all come under the guise of depressants, or as medications for one type of disorder or another. But as all of Olivia’s followers come to realize, just because pills and drugs are administered by a doctor doesn’t mean they’re safe for human or even animal use.
Some of these prescription medications are so damn addictive you wouldn’t believe it. I shit you not; you could walk into a doctor’s office stressed out and come out higher than a heroin addict with a legal prescription in your hand.
The primary pharmaceuticals usually prescribed for stress and anxiety include euphoric Opioids and central nervous system depressants that, and I quote, ‘calm and relax you like a warm blanket on the brain’. But it doesn’t end there people. Fearless and unshaken by the pharma-giants’ threats, I’ve gone and uncovered some of the most abused and addictive drugs that billions of people are using to combat stress. They Include:
i) Oxycodone – Commonly sold as Oxycontin, this is an opioid that changes the way your brain and nervous system respond to pain creating a sedative and euphoric effect. Oxycodone is prescribed by doctors over six million times a year with a single pill often costing hundreds of dollars.
ii) Xanax – This is a benzodiazepine prescribed to treat serious anxiety and panic disorders. It helps get rid of stress and calm a person down by depressing the normal function of the nervous system. Due to its fast-acting relaxing effects, Xanax is by far the most addictive and abused drug.
iii) Codeine – Also called the purple drank, Codeine is an opiate commonly found in prescription cough syrup. In high quantities, this drug has a sedative effect that causes altered levels of consciousness.
iv) Valium – Often misused for its sedative effects, valium has a high that is likened to that of alcohol. Its effects include drunkenness, talkativeness, and the ever elusive relaxation. However, valium can be extremely habit forming and abuse can lead to blackouts, commas, or even death by overdose.
When all is said and done, these drugs are just artificial happy pills with serious side effects. I mean, they’re the type of drugs that you wish never existed. Trust me; you’re better off trying natural and harmless ways of relaxing such as the ones below.
2. Essential Oils
I know I know; you’re probably wondering why your helpful, trusted doctor would prescribe something so addictive and destructive to your body. Well, you’ll be even more shocked to learn that you’re nothing but a dismal statistic in a pharmaceutical company’s massive spreadsheet.
These drugs just don’t happen to be addictive by chance; what, you think these companies are worried that your addiction is raking them billions of dollars a year? Anyhow, that’s a story for another day. The point is, there are plenty of healthy, natural and productive ways to help your mind and body relax without having to take what is the equivalent of pharmaceutical Rhino tranquilizer.
And how do you do that? With Mother Nature’s own gift to mankind – Essential Oils.
That’s right; Essential oils have been around for centuries dating as far back as the Biblical days when little baby Jesus was anointed with some frankincense and myrrh. If you ask me, I think it was the oils that made it possible for the holy family to make it through the night.
A strong soothing scent of frankincense in the air and I bet that donkey shit-smelling stable probably smelled like a day spa in Beverly Hills. But all blasphemous jokes aside, essential oils are becoming a popular alternative as a healthy, wholesome and natural way to relax and calm down.
That’s because some of these aromatic oils are packed with sedative, depressant, calming, relaxing, analgesic, and pain relieving properties that all help play a role in relaxation. Now, although essential oils will not magically make the stressful situation disappear (that’s what the valium was for and it doesn’t end well), it carries significant, stress-busting benefits. These include giving positive emotional responses to these situations and creating an environment where your mind and body can be in harmony for total relaxation. I’ve compiled some of the best essential oils for relaxation in some recipes that will help you put them to good use. Enjoy.
6 Best Essential Oil Recipes For Relaxation
Part 1 – Topical Calming Recipes
When it comes to stress relief and relaxation, topical application of essential oils is very effective. These oils not only soak easily into the skin and eventually into the bloodstream, but topical use allows you to reap the benefits for much longer.
Likewise, a topical blend can be carried around for instant relief whenever you feel a panic attack or anxiety coming on. For the following blends, combine and store each recipe in a dark dropper, roller or capped glass bottle (as directed) to protect them from sunlight and store in a cool, dark place. And, the best places to apply them are usually the neck, forehead, temples, chest, abdomen, soles of the feet and limbs.
Recipe 1: Last Minute Jitters Relief Blend
- 10 drops Ylang Ylang EO
- 8 drops Bergamot EO
- 4 drops Lavender EO
- 2 drops Patchouli EO
- 40ml fractionated coconut oil
- Roller ball bottle
When you’re about to walk into something significant such as a public speech or interview and need something to take the edge off, I’ve got the perfect blend for those last minute jitters. I chose Ylang Ylang because it is incredibly popular for its calming and uplifting benefits that make it ideal for treating anxiety and depression. Being a moderately strong sedative, it also calms heart agitations and nervous palpitations. The bergamot also helps reduce agitation while the other EOs play more of an aromatherapeutic role. To make use of this recipe, combine all the essential oils in a glass roller bottle and top off with fractionated coconut oil. Carry around in your bag or pocket and shake well before applying a bit on to convenient zones such as the neck, forehead, temples, chest, and arms.
Recipe 2: All-Day California Coast Calming Lotion
- 6 drops Lavender EO
- 4 drops Clary Sage EO
- 2 tablespoons unscented lotion
If you’re looking for something that will help you relax all day, I’ve got a lotion that will work slow and steady. Lavender stars as the main ingredient due to its calming, sedative properties. This will help restore the nervous system, decrease nervous tension, irritability, and promote inner peace. The Clary sage works by adding some depressant and sedative properties that help ease hypertension. Measure about two tablespoons of unscented lotion and add in the essential oils as indicated. Mix it well and apply the EO lotion before leaving the house for slow and steady stress relief.
Recipe 3: Aphrodisiac Massage EO Body Rub
When it’s all said and done, nothing helps you relax like a full body massage. So grab your partner and get ready to go to relaxation heaven. For this recipe, I chose sandalwood for its versatile, profoundly grounding spiritual and emotional applications. It helps instill a sense of peace and ease muscular tension while the Jasmine uplifts the spirit and acts as a potent aphrodisiac. Start by combining the drops of essential oils with the sweet almond carrier oil for a massage base. Have someone massage your body using the oil including the arms, back, shoulders, thighs and legs and you just might be in for quite a relaxing night.
Part 2 – Diffuser and Air Freshener Relaxation Blends
Diffusing your essential oils is another efficient way to get them into your system. Not only does getting the oils airborne allow them to be quickly absorbed, but everyone in the room can reap the relaxing benefits of these blends.
Recipe 4: Happy Place Relaxing Diffuser Blend
- 7 drops Vetiver EO
- 5 drops Cedarwood EO
- Diffuser or vaporizer
If you’ve been dealing with a stressful, hurtful or sorrowful situation, it can be very hard to relax and forget about it. That’s why you need an essential oil blend to help you find your happy place right at home. Vetiver EO is the main ingredient because of its tranquil, grounding and reassuring energy that helps bring about a stable sense of calm. At the same time, it helps decrease jitters, panic attacks, shock, and hypersensitivity. Just add the oils in your diffuser and diffuse as you normally would.
Recipe 5: EO Paradise Relax and Refresh Air Freshener
- 15 drops Rose EO
- 10 drops Grapefruit EO
- 10 drops Peppermint EO
- 4 oz clean spray bottle
- 3.5 ounces of distilled water
If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, here’s a little something that can freshen your moods and the environment as well. I chose Rose EO as the bell of the ball due to its exceptionally settling properties. It works great at helping deal with anxiety, depression, sorrow, shock, grieving and panic attacks. Start by filling your spray bottle with water and add in the essential oils. Be careful not to overfill the sprayer so you have room to shake before spraying. Spray in your living room, bedroom, study, and any other room in your house.
Recipe 6: Find your Zen EO Rejuvenating Bath Salts
- 15 drops Frankincense EO
- 12 drops Lavender EO
- 10 drops Lemon EO
- Tablespoon of Jojoba carrier oil
- 3 cups Himalayan Pink Salt
If you think that bath salts are amazing, wait until you add essential oils. I swear, it’s the most relaxing, stress relieving experience you’ll ever have. Start by running a hot bath and then mixing your salts and essential oils in a separate bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the mixture in the tub and stir well to combine everything. Dive right in and soak for about 20 minutes for total and complete relaxation.
If you find the above recipes too hard to make or don’t want to buy multiple essential oils or want to save time, then there’s the L’orpur Finest Pure Blends Kit for relaxation.
5 Home Remedies For Relaxation
1. Stop Catastrophizing and Take it Easy
When you’re stressed out, panicked and full of anxiety, it’s very easy to get into a mindset known as catastrophic thinking. Here, your mind goes into a spin cycle of all the bad and horrible things that could happen. Instead, just relax and approach the problem from a realistic angle and chances are that the risk of a catastrophic outcome is less likely than it seems.
Nothing helps kill the stress and tension like a nice, intense workout. A few minutes of mild to intense exercise a day is the best way to relax both the mind and body and also improve your mood too.
3. Mindfulness Meditation
That’s right, just like they do it in yoga and meditation, this Buddhist practice is now a mainstream therapy. You’d be surprised how much healthier and relaxed you’ll feel after gulping up a few breaths of air and listening to your inner self.
4. Eat Well
Stop starving yourselves for Pete’s sake! It’s not uncommon for anxious and stressed out people to skip meals. Chowing down a balanced diet with lots of water and fluids will help you feel better in general and control moods and hormones. Make sure you include proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grain, and fiber.
5. Find Hobbies
If there’s one thing that will never stress you out, it’s something you actually enjoy doing. Find time to enjoy your hobbies and you won’t remember what was stressing you out in the first place. Some people find sightseeing and traveling incredibly relaxing while others unwind using sports and video games. Just find something you like doing and use that to unwind. Yes, even sex is a fun activity if you’re looking for exciting, natural ways to unwind and relax.
There you have it readers, that winds up our segment today on why you need to relax and how to do it the right way. With this information, taking care of your body’s stress responses should be much easier now. You’ve seen what the pharmaceutical companies are really after and you know why you should avoid their prescription medications under all circumstances.
And if you’re finding it increasingly difficult to relax, don’t worry about it – just integrate essential oils into your life and make it a daily habit and you’ll be whistling sweet melodies by the riverside in no time. So go ye out there my beloved followers and keep calm.