We’ve all heard these scary statistics about stress: Over 20 million Americans suffer from health problems related to chronic stress. While it’s hard to find time to relax in this fast-paced world of hustle and bustle, there are some easy, cost-effective tips that can help you soothe your mind and achieve serenity – stress relief doesn’t have to be expensive!
Here are my top 5 stress-busters for under $5:
Move over energy drinks – now relaxation is all the buzz. A simple go-to relaxation beverage that you can find in health food stores and some grocery stores is all-natural Montmorency cherry juice, which offers the highest naturally-occurring form of melatonin known to help regulate sleep cycles. However, I recommend taking your relaxation beverage to the next level and looking for a cherry juice and tea blend fortified with theanine and tryptophan.
Theanine is an amino acid that’s been proven to reduce mental and physical stress while stimulating the brain, creating a relaxed but alert feeling. This combined with tryptophan, a compound found in turkey that’s infamous for making us sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner, creates a powerful combination that eases stress by helping the body reach a place of calm and serenity. You can find these types of healthy relaxation beverages in the refrigerated juice and beverage section of mass market retailers, right next to your orange juice.
This is a very simple tool (it looks like a multi-pronged metal spider) that will do wonders for your overall wellbeing. It’s a great way to relieve tension and stimulate blood flow, and studies have shown that a scalp massage can increase the production of certain chemicals in the body, including endorphins and serotonin. These chemicals can help put you in a better mood, reducing your overall stress and preparing you for relaxation.
Sea Salt and Noni Foot Bath
Soaking your feet in noni juice is just what the doctor ordered. Warm up some water, pour in sea salt and 100% pure noni juice and soak your feet for 20 - 25 minutes. Noni juice can be found in health food stores; look for the 100% pure liquid noni in the supplement section. When it comes to promoting relaxation, noni is also loaded with over 120 natural compounds, most of which are alkalinizing and many of them are essential minerals for overall balanced health. The sea salt also has great soothing properties. As we become stressed, our bodies become acidic; this foot soak will help balance our pH because salt is a great equalizer. Noni is also a natural anti-fungal.
In South America, suma is known as “para todo” (which means "for all things"). The indigenous peoples of the Amazon region have used suma root for generations for a wide variety of health purposes, including as a calming agent. That’s because suma is an adaptogen, which recharges the adrenal glands, the body's mechanism for responding to stress and emotional changes. The adrenals, which cover the upper surface of each kidney, synthesize and store dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. For this smoothie, simply take a scoop of the suma powder and blend it with a banana, some acai berry juice (find the one with added B Vitamins to support the nervous system) and one cup of yogurt. This will help promote an overall sense of relaxation by moderating those stress-inducing hormones.
Native to North America, skullcap is used to promote inner tranquility and help relieve stress, as well as to treat mental disorders and nervous conditions. More than 295 compounds have been isolated in skullcap, among them flavonoids, which are thought to be the key component to relieving stress by modifying levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that modulate mood, anxiety and relaxation. You can find skullcap tea bags online and in some health food stores.