Home Health 6 Easy, Natural (and Free!) Ways to Reduce Stress

6 Easy, Natural (and Free!) Ways to Reduce Stress


Even if you’re unaware how damaging long-term stress can be, you may be acutely familiar with its immediate side effects.

According to Psychology Today, “The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease… the list goes on and on. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels also increase the risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy as well.”

But let’s back up a little. The stress response is a natural and beneficial process, one that serves us well in moments of physical threat or danger. Hormones course through our bodies preparing us to fight or flee and then replenish lost stock once we’ve outrun or fought off the proverbial chasing tiger.

Here’s the kicker: Our bodies don’t know the difference between a real threat and a perceived one. This means that even though there may not be any physical threat when our boss calls us in for a serious meeting or our spouse is angry with us, our minds perceive a real threat and our bodies respond exactly as though we were being chased by that tiger.

Faith Based Events

Since it’s not socially acceptable to run into the woods or fist fight the boss in response to the hormonal alarms, we have no way to express these biochemical events. We can end up stuck in them.

Yet, not all stress is bad. Eustress (as opposed to distress) refers to the good kind of stress that can motivate us and keep us productive when we’re moving toward goals. Eustress is also a byproduct of exercise.

Interestingly, how we perceive the very stress we’re under at any given time can help or hurt us. When you perceive stress as eustress, it can lead to a productive response that resolves the situation. So, not only can stressors be real or imagined, but our perception of them as beneficial or painful can determine whether it will heal or hurt us.

Hi there, I'm Helen Sanders, chief editor at Health Ambition. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives. I and a panel of specialists have made it our mission to make our followers feel better and live longer without restrictive diets or lifestyle changes. Welcome aboard!