11 Natural Ways to Deal with Stress

11 Natural Ways To Deal With Stress

Stress has everything to do with your overall health! Stress—or our reaction to it—is as powerful as food is, in achieving a high-vibration life or a low-vibration life.

I’m going to share some major principles that have helped me live a life of happiness, and relative peace even though I’m a single mom, I travel a lot for work, and I have what by any standards would be called a high-stress job.

These concepts I’m going to share have been hard-won for me.

A few years ago, I had a terrible experience, feeling deeply wronged by another company, whose actions inflicted tremendous harm on me and my business.

The damage was both emotional and financial. I could have spent many months, or even years, of my life pursuing a conflict that would have made me whole, and would have made me rich. Or, I could settle, and end the dispute with peace, light, and forgiveness.

I chose the latter.  And this big choice led me to some clarity about all the smaller, daily choices that help change my mindset, my thought patterns, and my overall happiness. I want to share with you 11 strategies I learned to reduce stress, and stay in high vibration, even through tough circumstances:

1. Opt out of drama.

I am vigilant about not opting in to negativity and drama in my family, my business, the competitive sports teams I play on, or in intimate relationships.

Keeping it from affecting me takes serious consciousness, and commitment about what I’m spending my time thinking about, and doing.

"My days on this planet are numbered. I want to spend them doing something awesome with my life." -Robyn Openshaw

I try to spend my unstructured time well. That’s time out running, in the shower, or driving. I use my unstructured time to think through problems, and turn the energy of something from a negative, to a positive.

If I have to have a “high stakes conversation” with one of my children, an employee, or a friend, I try to devote some time to thinking it through, first. So I know what I want to say–and what I don’t want to say–and how I want the other person to feel, at the end of our conversation.

Here’s the thing: my days on this planet are numbered. I want to spend them doing something awesome with my life.

"Make something beautiful of your life."

Every five minutes that I spend being angry, is five minutes of happiness that I gave up. When you get clear on that, it makes decision making easier, and you want a lot less time spent on dumb stuff.

I have this saying on my vision board, and I look at it every day:

“Make something beautiful of your life.” I can’t do that if I spend my limited life fighting, regretting, not forgiving, or stewing.

2.  Stop Worrying

Read Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. It’s kind of a bible for me on how to live.

It did not come naturally to me, to severely limit the amount of time I spend worrying. One thing he says is, “Remind yourself of the statistical improbability of whatever you’re worrying about actually happening.”

Here’s another great nugget for you, from the book. Every time you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “Will this matter in a year?” The answer is no, 99 percent of the time. If that’s so, let it go.

Buy the book, take it around with you, and read a chapter every day.

A year later, do the same thing all over again. I’ve read it over and over again, until I have the whole book pretty much memorized.

3. Attend To The Feeling Of Stress

Don’t fear your negative emotions. Attend to them and learn to identify them quickly.

Ask yourself, “What am I feeling, and why?” You can’t solve something if you don’t even know what it is. In my 20’s I used to spend hours, or days being angry and tense without even really knowing why.

I’d spend a lot of time verbalizing to people close to me what I was stressed out about. Instead of doing the internal work of checking in with myself, breaking it down, and then releasing it. Now I get real, and I get real fast.

Then when I’m really clear on what’s really bothering me, I choose to talk myself through it. I fully feel it, and then consciously break it down.

Mentally go to a safe place for 60 whole seconds in your mind, and when that has become a practice, you have a potent tool to shift your mental energies.

My “safe place” is at the top of Provo Canyon, where I bike or I ski, on either side of the canyon. In a stressful situation, you can “go there” in your imagination. Imagine what it looks like, what it feels like. Imagine the smells. Put yourself there in every way.

I’m so convinced about the effectiveness of this process that I wrote about it extensively in my new book, Vibe: Unlock the Energetic Frequencies of Limitless Health, Love and SuccessPreorder the book, and you can get the audiobook free, to listen to right away!

You’ll learn how to reframe and release any negative emotion in 90 seconds or less!

This technique works for more than just stress.  And you might find out that your stress is a cover for a different emotion entirely, one you can learn to clear quickly with this tool.

4. Ask Yourself This Question

I want to give you a profound question to ask yourself everyday, that I learned from my friend Matthew. Because checking in with who you are, and how you want to show up today, is a far more important question, when you wake up, than “what tasks am I going to do today?” (That’s the question most of us default to, each morning.)

The question is, “What is the purpose of my life?” This is what you want most. Really. What is the purpose of your life?

My answer was, I want to be healthy and happy, and help others be healthy and happy. I’m always checking in with what I’m doing or thinking about right now, towards that end. Is what I’m doing right now making me or someone else healthier and happier?

5. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

And, like the classic book says,  it’s all small stuff! Once you get clear on this principle, of how much of what we get angry about, what we worry about is small stuff, our whole life changes for the better.

For my podcast, I interviewed Kristine Carlson, who helped her husband Richard write Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff–And It’s All Small Stuff!

She spoke about how she used the “small stuff” principles to get through Richard’s sudden death, in his 40’s, at the height of his career as an international best-selling author.

She shared with me how life becomes less scary when you find perspective and get out of your own way.  One of my favorite things she said was,

“The beauty of not sweating the small stuff is it frees up all of your focus to your creativity. When you’re not focused on things that don’t matter, you have all the energy you need to focus really on what does.”

Listen to the whole interview here.

6. Live in Gratitude

The flip side of not sweating the small stuff is to find joy in the small stuff, every day.

Gratitude works wonders. It’s one of the highest-vibration emotions. When you settle into a reverie of considering all the great people and blessings in your life, your ECG frequencies actually increase by 10 Hz! And the frequencies are strong, steady, and smooth.

Which is how we all like to feel, right?

Almost every day, little things happen that are really cool. Noticing them, and taking a moment to feel grateful for them, can uplevel your quality of life.

When I’m out running or biking, I love to ponder the question, “What do I love about my life?”

My friend Megan Wooden, who found out when she had four small children, that she had a deadly form of cancer, told me that she writes at the top of her journal page every day, “And the good news is,” and she fills it in.

I learned long ago that gratitude is a magic elixir, an antidote to stress.

We all love adults who retain a sense of childlike wonder. I think it’s fun to create gratitude, to remember to be amazed, blown away! Giddy! Grateful!

Choosing into the amazing vibration of gratitude opens you to recognizing the synchronicities and miracles in your life. They may seem small and common, until you exercise mindfulness. Know that gratitude is a choice, not a feeling.

7. Live in Einstein Time

Gay Hendricks wrote a book called The Big Leap that forever changed my life and my relationship with minutes, hours, and days.

change your concept of time to reduce stress

His concept of “Einsteinian time” comes from the example Einstein used to explain relativity:  an hour with your beloved feels like a minute; a second on a hot stove feels like an hour.

We often speak of time as if we are at the mercy of its limiting control: “I don’t have time,” or “Time got away from me.”

But we all have the same amount of time, and we choose what actions to take in the time we have..

We can either create time with abundance thinking, or create time pressure by scarcity thinking.  Don’t crawl into bed and whine, don’t kill hours just griping. Roll up your sleeves! Life is amazing, when we use our waking hours to be productive, to problem solve, to tend to others needs.

Notice when you find yourself speaking like a victim of time. For example, “I’d like to stop and chat but I don’t have time.” Instead, speak as the source and master of time-for example, “I’ll make time for that.”

Now I know what it is to create time. I know that time doesn’t own me. I’m not always breathless, and rushed, and behind anymore. Time is just a man-made construct; human beings have put markers on it in a variety of ways.

I know that I will make time for the things that matter most.

8: Read and Journal

take time to read or journal everyday to reduce stress

I love to read. Gain new knowledge everyday, especially in the area of self development. Make sure not all of your reading is escape reading. After a year or two of reading the best books that you carefully curate to make you better, you will find yourself more grounded, more peaceful, with far more tools to calm and de-stress.

It’s also a great way to build your character, through studying, and pondering, and talking to others around you about the stuff that you’re learning. Journal what you learn, so that it becomes part of your way of being.

9. Forgive and Let Go

Practice the art of letting go, and forgiving someone on a regular basis.

let go of things that no longer serve to reduce stress

Make letting go a guiding principle of who you are. This is what I learned from my divorce–how many things I can let go of, and fast. So many things in my life changed at that time so quickly, I had to decide whether to cling to them, screaming and kicking, or to accept and be at peace.

Make a goal of forgiving people more quickly and easily. More peace and forgiveness of others = less toxicity = better health = purer love for everyone around me = more joy.

10. Reach Out

A lot of times the answer to what seems a devastating problem is a lot simpler and quicker than you think.

Even as unique as you are, I guarantee there are others who have found their way through the same problems you’re facing now.

Ask yourself,  “Who can help me with this?”  Reach out.  Call on the relationships you’ve built. Sometimes the only way through a problem is, well, through it, and even if there is not a ready solution, the people who love you will strengthen and lift you on the journey through. Putting words on what’s eating you, with someone you trust, is a great first step.

11.  Believe In Karma

Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, “Cast your bread upon the waters, and after many days, it will come back to you.” I’ve always seen that as the law of karma in scripture.

If you’re doing good works, then good is going to flow back to you. Sooner or later. Maybe indirectly. The Hindus use the concept of “karma” exclusively with a negative meaning (“bad karma”), but we Westerners believe in good karma, too. Don’t you?

Believe in it, and put some good stuff out there. It’s going to flow back, and it’s going to be all over you before you know it.

Did you notice that I didn’t mention nutrition, exercise, or sleep to combat stress?  Of course they are important–good nutrition strengthens you against stress’ health effects,  exercise gives you those great endorphins to counteract negativity, and sleep recharges you.

But I wanted to give you some other strategies I’ve learned that have pulled me through some of the worst times in my life.

What are your healthy ways to deal with stress? I’d love to hear one of yours.

61 thoughts on “11 Natural Ways to Deal with Stress

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  1. Thanks for sharing this. Much of the advice is what my wise mother often told us, her six children through the years. When she broke her hip she said, “I’ve got to keep moving or I’ll not be able to.” She looked for positive in each day.

  2. It’s the eve before spending 3 days at Boston Children’s Hospital for testing on my 8 year old. We just had herbal tea together, snuggled in our jammies while reading books together. We shared our fears, then took deep “bloom breaths” before singing our goodnight song! Now we’re ready for what tomorrow brings

  3. Travel! When I am on vacation, I may have to “worry” about where do eat dinner, or which beach to go to, or dang, i left my toothpaste at home! But that is ALL I am worried about. My focus in on the here and now, and being in a new place fills me with wonder and excitement. My problems from home constantly bombard me when I am at home. When I am in a new place, my problems don’t seem to follow me.

  4. I believe stress is a part of life and tells me what I need to deal with, solve, work on, and is primary guidance in maneuvering my life towards purpose and meeting the challenges that (mountains) I wish to climb and conquer. I accept it and decide if it is worth attending to and how. Overall I believe it is how I “deal” with it that gives it a destructive nature or a healthy nature in my overall life. Drama can be destructive or a challenge depending on if it is positive and productive or petty and negative. I avoid negative, fear-based, and destructive drama and focus on things that make my life and others lives positive and exciting, purposeful and bright. I don’t always succeed in this world that is full of fear-based, negative focused pitfalls from media, politics, corporate to entertainment.

  5. I totally believe in opting out the drama! I don’t want to spend my life living as the victim when instead I can use that energy to create something wonderful and beautiful with my life! I love that!

  6. To counteract stress I form daily habits of journaling in my gratitude journal right when I wake up and right before bed. After journaling I do a Sahaja Yoga Meditation. This helps me clear my mind and keep my thoughts focused on the positive: what is good and what is going well in my life. About 4 times a week I go for a walk/ jog for an hour on a wooded trail near our house. while jogging I stop and do yoga stretches about half way through. I also use the reflexology points on the bottom of my feet while jogging.

    I quit eating sugary desserts and candy last November 09 and I seemed to have a lot less inflammation as a result.

    Since I started drinking the Green Smoothies exactly 1 month ago I have no more inflammation in my stomach. I have a list of other positive benefits that I’ve journaled in my gratitude journal; i.e. no more constipation, no abdominal pain, I’m thinking more clearly now, I’m getting along better with people, my muscle tone is improving, I have high energy. That definitely relieved a lot of stress for me. Thank you Robyn !

  7. to Kim on march 11: Just today a friend wouldn’t try my green smoothie because he didn’t know what was in it. so: isolate each item in your green drink and take only one item each day to determine which food you are having an allergy /rejection to. I do not use a green powder and i vary the ingredients by whatever produce is in the fridge. Ideas: I always start with soaking whatever 3 seeds I’m going to use like chia, sesame, flax, or hemp seed, maybe 2 tb each. After 15 min the seeds become gelatinous and I add it at the end of ingredients. My fav green is kale (nutrition dense) but any green will do, even lettuce. An apple, always a banana (I freeze to keep them handy), orange, and to sweeten the kale I like a frozen coconut juice from Thailand called “Queens Diamond Brand”, but any coconut will do, fresh or canned.

    I too don’t feel satisfied with only liquid, so I eat raw almonds and/or raw cashews with it. Good luck, sis, keep experimenting. ps also consider using a pure water, not tap water.

  8. Meditation, exercise/yoga, prayer, super nutritious foods, talks with friends, good reads like Green Smoothie Girl support (thank you, all!) loving on my doggies! Really want to try the healthy hot cocoa…..yummy!

  9. Hi Robyn,

    I’m a friend of Rex and Brent’s. Great blog post.

    Stress is one of the biggest health concerns going right now. People don’t realize that it is one of the major contributing factors to obesity, strokes, heart disease, respiratory disease, memory loss. Also, if you get stuck in stress too long, the stress chemical cortisol destroys your brain cells and adrenaline forces you to focus your attention on the stressor, which only causes more stress. If you get stuck in stress, the blood leaves the part of your brain you need to imagine a brighter future, plan how to create a brighter future, and see yourself as capable of achieving your brighter future. You even get locked out of the part of your brain that allows you to feel joy.

    I’ve tried EFT, EMDR, Yoga, meditation, TAT and more. These all provided some benefit, but they didn’t seem to provide the lasting type of change I was looking to find.

    After a 30 year personal quest to eliminate the stress of past traumas and difficult life challenges I found something that really worked, Neuroscience. Specifically, Neuroplasticity, the brain science that understands how to make lasting changes to your brain.

    After years of research and testing, I found that if you make very specific changes to the neuropatterns (not brain wave patterns) stored in your brain that your emotions, your thoughts and your life change for the better.

    Hope this doesn’t seem to self serving, since I pioneered this technique, but my mission is to give people the tools to free themselves from the debilitating neuropatterns that keep them in stress and keep them from manifesting their dreams.

    Sincerely,

    Don

  10. Over the past year and a half our family has made some huge transitions. It all started because of the Greem Smoothie girl and we are very appreciative. I started feeling so good after changing our diet that I took a leap of faith and went off of Wellbutrin which I had been on for 5-6 years. In my family, 6 out of 7 sibblings are on some form of medication for depression. I had suffered from it my entire life. It is sooooooooooooo amazing to be free of the medication and feel good naturally. I attribute most of the anxiety and depression to my poor eating habits. Lots of sugar, white flour, etc. We now drink green smoothies every day, stopped dairy and meat and eat so much healthier.

    As far as stress relievers go, eating better has decreased the anixiety but adding walking, swimming and biking have been huge helps. I wish I had know about the green smoothie lifestyle 25 or 30 years ago. Thanks Robyn!!!!!

    I will definitely start looking in to EFT and some of the other ideas posted here. They sound amazing.

    Thanks Everyone!!

  11. Robyn,

    This is a wonderful community with such helpful tips. Robyn, ‘maybe you weren’t aware of the feedback you would be receiving – and the benefits we readers could reap from engaging in this blog, but you started something from the heart and look how it’s grown! I have not met you personally, but I love you already.

    “Conventional”, “Western Medicine” is not necessarily bad. I have firsthand seen the benefits in patients and experienced it myself during an arrhythmia attack). What’s more, medicine (especially general anesthesia is a blessing when given by a competent MD). This, I appreciated when I opted for surgery to deal with cancer.

    Ellen

    Pharmacist & Advocate of Alternative Medicine (one can be both)

  12. Chanting always helps ! :))

    There are plenty of alternatives out there to prescription drugs IF you are seeking a supplement that will aid you during those trying times in life.

    GABA

    Korean Ginseng

    Rhodiola Root

    Schisandra Berry

    Reishi Mushroom which has MANY AWE*Some purposes

    Yohimbe Bark

    Catuaba

    LEMON BALM another goodie !

    Skull Cap

    Bugbane

    Betony

    Absinthe

    Jiaogulan

    Astragulus Root

    Catnip

    Rooibos Tea

    Bee Pollen

    Graviola

    Nutmeg

    Artemisia

    Kava Kava (potent, not intended for long term use)

    Lavender

    Wheat Grass has a high Chlorophyll content helps to swiftly recover one from stress or illness

    Suma Root

    Pulsatilla

    Bacopa Monnieri

    Wormwood

    Green Tea

    Chamomile

    Muirapauma

    Recommend all persons interesting in adding ANY supplement to search constituents, benefits and Contraindications (precautions) in case there are any interactions or warnings which need to be realized.

    From what I have been learning many times the signs (red flags) are indicative of a possible dificiency in our bodies which causes a “reaction” and manifest in many ways (one of which is stress) Stress can cause many ailments but prolonged stress unresolved or unattended to can cause serious dis-ease(s)

    Bee Well 😉

    Ahava

  13. Wow! so many great ideas! I have just entered the world of EFT and have really found it effective. I AM a doTERRA person and a LOVER of essential oils and aromatherapy! I actually have a daily routine of dropping a drop or 2 of Balance-a grounding blend that I call my nerve tonic-and Serenity-a calming blend-in my hands rubbing them together and inhaling deeply a few times. Then I rub that on my forehead and back of my neck and hold it there for a few seconds. I also diffuse it a ton during the day and it keeps me calm. I had a few days without it and could really tell the difference. I imagin if I coupled that with Yoga & meditation I would REALLY feel great! I am supposed to be on Zoloft and I refused so I feel super blessed to have found one of many natural and powerful solutions!

  14. EFT definitely works. Also, check out TAT (Tapas Accupressure Technique), and Zpoint Process. You can google all three. Donna Eden also has a book called Energy Medicine for Women. Lots of stuff in there about how to naturally deal with female stuff of all types through energy medicine. Donna also has videos on youtube with some good exercises…

  15. Please help me understand the health pros and cons between “juicing” and “blending”. After buying the BlendTec, I started drinking the green smoothies. But should I also be “juicing” too?

  16. Stress I know!! Things that help me are: Daily yoga practice before my kids get out of bed which means I have to be up at 6,30. Tricky in the winter when I have to light my wood fire first but I’ve been doing it for so long now its a habit!! Part of my practice involves tapping, cross patterning and activations at the beginning and relaxation techniques after all the postures. The style of Yoga I have been practising is Dru and its been my life saver!! Other things are treating myself to a Bowen, Reiki, Massage or Network Chiropractic treatment. One or all of these are also amazing!! I have three children and two ex partners and no family in Australia so I have to look after myself!! Other things which help are walking in the forest and a hugh network of friends. Having community dinners with other families help to avoid the social isolation. I have not given up chocolate yet….maybe one day!! Good luck and hope this helps someone…

  17. second nominations for Natural Calm, and EFT. most everyone is deficient in magnesium, also called “The Great Calmer”. it works like a charm, once you find your dose. it’s also a clean product only sweetened with stevia, and it’s got the blend of the calcium to make it fully absorbable.

    as for EFT, it is the most effective healing tool i’ve come across, which is why i’ve just graduated advanced practitioner training. i use it for everything, and the more i do it, the more my worries melt away.

    love what you do! thanks for these yummy recommendations. i’ll be jumping on that wagon really quick!

  18. I am a reflexologist. I help people relax and destress everyday. I love what I do. To make it complete for my clients I use essential oils too. When they are very stressed I use doTERRA’s mood matrix on their feet. 1st you apply Serenity and work in to improve relaxation; then use Citrus Bliss which is very uplifting; then Elevation which once again is very mood elevating and finish with Balance which oxygenates every cell. I also diffuse citrus oils at the same time. You can apply these oils on any of your chakras to get the same result. Sometimes we use EFT as well. Any of the citrus oils help improve the mood.

  19. The Five Tibetan Rites . Has anyone out there tried it?

    Five Rites sounds to good to be true. I think I’ll give it a go.

  20. For the coffee drinkers that need healthy touch of chocolate.

    Try mixing one tablespoon of pure cococa powder and stevia

    to your cup of coffee. Stir well and enjoy 🙂

  21. EFT is excellent, although my favorite stress reliever is the technique taught by the world wide “Art of Living Foundation” known as the Sudarshan Kriya. Su stands for “proper” and darshan means “vision.” Kriya meaning action, and is a yogic practice that is meant to purify the body.

    It is a 20 minute breathing practice/meditation that goes beyond words and worlds. Highly recommend!

  22. Vitamin D 500 IU per nt works great…make sure to take it at night. It really helps “calm” you so you awake refreshed. It also is GREAT for bones and we are actually greatly lacking in this particular vitamin, especially if you live in “rain” country as I do…in OR.

  23. EFT is wonderful.

    Check out drsha.com and listen to the Happy Happy Happy Soul Song. Lots of uplifting things there… hard to stay in the stress.

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