You might have heard of this one, which is often used as a sedative. Sometimes called “nature’s tranquilizer,” valerian has been used for centuries to regulate the nervous system and relieve tension, irritability, nervous exhaustion and stress. Valerian is also a natural pain reliever that reduces the sensitivity of the nerves. This herb is very accessible and you should be able to find it as tea or supplements with no problem in a health food store.
Ancient Qigong Breathing Practice
Take a moment to notice your breath. How deeply do you breathe? Shallow breathing mimics the bodily actions of stress, and actually induces your body to feel anxiety. Specific breathing techniques will relax and revitalize your being.
Qigong, an ancient practice from China, has one such breathing exercise that can release stress. In this practice, you must become mindful of every breath you take: monitor the speed, quality, and depth of inhalation and exhalation. The goal is to slow down, smooth out, and deepen each breath.
With every exhalation, utter the word “calm” in your mind and breathe out the tension from a part of your body, starting from the top of your head and working your way down through every part of your body until you get to your feet. Release any remaining tension through your toes and the bottoms of your feet, visualizing it as dark smoke. This ancient practice will not only help you keep your cool in the moment, but over time, it will help you breathe more deeply.