19 All-Natural Stress Busters

Keep your mind and body at ease with these simple home remedies.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
Stressed man

Keep your mind and your body feeling its best. These home remedy secrets will help bust your anxiety and stress without ever filling a prescription.

Appeal to Your Senses

1. An Orange a Day

Oranges offer vitamin C, which can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. But before you eat that orange, make sure to take a good whiff as well. The citrus scent has been shown to help people feel less anxiety, improve mood, and promote calmness. It’s easy to take an orange on the go into potentially stressful situations. At home, you can add a few drops of citrus-scented oil to a room diffuser.

2. Rub Your Ears

They’re covered in trigger points that can help release tension! Rub them gently to ease stress throughout your body. Start with the crease between the back of your ears and your skull.

3. Put On His Sweater

Ladies, if you have a special man in your life, reach for his laundry on the floor when you’re feeling stressed. Women had lower stress levels—even after being put through research activities designed to make them more anxious—when they had smelled a shirt their male partners had worn for 24 hours without deodorant. The jury’s still out whether this trick works for men, whose sense of smell isn’t as strong.

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4. Enjoy the View

Just like we tend to hold tension in our necks, we can also lock tension around our eyes. Go to a place where you can gaze off to a distant, pleasant view. It doesn’t need to be a tropical island; even green trees or children playing can work. It will help you relax your eyes, focus away from a tense moment or situation, and take in a fresh perspective.

5. Sip Some Tea

Slowing down to drink any kind of tea can help you deal with stress. But the amino acid L-theanine in green tea has special calming effects. Take several green tea breaks instead of coffee breaks throughout your day. Worried about the caffeine jitters? Green tea is lower in caffeine than coffee and black tea. Or just go decaf—you’ll still get the L-theanine!

6. Let it Go

Don’t worry if you look silly! Let your tongue go limp in your mouth, then open your mouth slightly. The result: You instantly relax your jaw, which sends a message to your brain that all is well and it can halt the stress hormones.

Slow Down

7. Go to Your Camera Roll

Whether it’s a beach vacation or a favorite baby or fur baby, choose a soothing photo to focus on. Just like that, you can change your brain wave activity.

8. Go Belly Down

Suddenly feel out of control? You can put your hand on your belly and try to slow and deepen your breathing. But often that seems impossible in the moment. Another trick: Lie down on your stomach, which will naturally slow your breathing.

9. Back-and-Forth Breathing

It may sound wacky, but it’s a proven way to slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure. Block your right nostril and breathe only through your left, or alternate breathing through each nostril.

10. Fake a Smile

Even if you’re just going through the motions, forming your face into a smile can lower your heart rate. Experts aren’t sure why it works, but it does.


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