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. 1) pray

    2) breathe deeply

    3) move your body

    4) laugh

    5) EFT, tap, tap, tap. After five years of personal use and two years of being a practitioner, it is THE MOST EFFECTIVE technique I have ever used. I am truly a new person. Try it. You’ll like it.

  2. Don’t know about the Choffy – does it have caffeine in it? I am worried about the free chocolate syrup made with splenda. Splenda is not good for you. It causes tons of bad things.

  3. Natural Calm, EFT and visits to my Chiropractor. When I want something warm and comforting to drink, I like Tulsi Tea or Mocha Teeccino with a heaping teaspoon of Coconut oil and a little Sevia. But, I must say, the hot cocoa sounds like something I’d like to try right now.

    Thanks for sharing everyones suggestions.

  4. The craving for sweets is not only triggered by stress, it is a natural part of your metabolism. Sugar is one of the key components needed to maintain the form and function of your cells in that it provides the energy that drives the work of the cells. All 30 trillion cells are enabled to communicate their needs to your brain. When adrenaline kicks in during chronic or acute periods of stress your body needs more energy and more sugar. Your choice of sugar is incredibly important whenever the urge comes and it’s a natural urge. You should know, however, sugar requires chromium to be metabolized properly. Sugar from non-whole foods does not contain chromium. The more sugar sources you use that do not naturally contain chromium the more chromium deficient you will become. As you become chromium deficient, it interferes with the proper absorption of even natural sugars, leading to all out sugar addictions. What type of sugar should you eat to best maintain cellular metabolism? The natural sugars that are included in whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. These whole foods each supply chromium and prevent you from becoming chromium deficient and from developing sugar addictions. All non-chromium containing sugars should be used sparingly or not at all. It’s so easy to make the shift because nature’s whole sugars taste better than any other. Whether you are in times of stress that demand more energy (sugar), or life is kicked back for you, when that urge for sugar hits you, just remember its a natural urge; your cells have just spoken to your brain to say, we need more sugar. Choose wisely by responding to this natural urge by consuming sugar that is packaged with the thousands of balancing nutrients (including chromium) that come only from natural foods.

    Best,

    Jim Simmons

  5. The craving for sweets is not only triggered by stress, it is a natural part of your metabolism. Sugar is one of the key components needed to maintain the form and function of your cells in that it provides the energy that drives the work of the cells. All 30 trillion cells are enabled to communicate their needs to your brain. When adrenaline kicks in during chronic or acute periods of stress your body needs more energy and more sugar. Your choice of sugar is incredibly important whenever the urge comes and it’s a natural urge. You should know, however, sugar requires chromium to be metabolized properly. Sugar from non-whole foods does not contain chromium. The more sugar sources you use that do not naturally contain chromium the more chromium deficient you will become. As you become chromium deficient, it interferes with the proper absorption of even natural sugars, leading to all out sugar addictions. What type of sugar should you eat to best maintain cellular metabolism? The natural sugars that are included in whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. These whole foods each supply chromium and prevent you from becoming chromium deficient and from developing sugar addictions. All non-chromium containing sugars should be used sparingly or not at all. It’s so easy to make the shift because nature’s whole sugars taste better than any other. Whether you are in times of stress that demand more energy (sugar), or life is kicked back for you, when that urge for sugar hits you, just remember its a natural urge; your cells have just spoken to your brain to say, we need more sugar. Choose wisely by responding to this natural urge by consuming sugar that is packaged with the thousands of balancing nutrients (including chromium) that come only from natural foods.

    Best,

    Jim Simmons

  6. Hello Robyn

    The liquid cacao / macaroon sounds wonderful. I live in California. How can I obtain this? Life Circumstance Stress is not so easy to deal with – actually very painful to even discuss.

    Thanks,

    Ellen

    1. Hey Ellen, you can get it in the GreenSmoothieGirl.com store (we ship it). Just click on the link in this blog posting.

  7. This is to Tracy on March 2 – I too wanted to get off of anti-depressants and I DID! I just have to tell you – after I got off I went thru several months crying for no reason – that’s what that stuff does to you when you get off – but FINALLY I am okay! It was so worth it – and I was tempted on really bad days to get back on but resisted and am so glad I did! Hang in there!

  8. I am a 31 year old male, 6’1, 215 pds, and a correctional officer in the state of florida. You know a real mans man who grew up playing football all the way through college and lived on chemical supplements, protien powders, creatine, and everything else that was “cutting edge” sports nutrition. Needles to say about a year ago at the ripe old age of 30 i began to feel like i was 50. My wife and I began to go organic a little at first and then all out. We purchased the vitamix blender about 6 months ago and have dinned extensivley on soups and smothies of all kinds. I am pleased to say that I have regained that youthfull energy, decreased my joint pain and am overall enjoying my life once again. I weigh 25 pounds less than the guys i work out with yet I’m just as strong if not stronger than they are and instead of being bloated and slugish like they are I am very “ripped”, and my wife is just fine with that. We love this lifestyle and love people like you who work so hard to keep us informed of the lastest and the greatest. All of you ladies out there feel free to share this with your stubborn husbands who think this all a bunch of “Hippy Junk”!

  9. Hi! Yes! I love the idea of the hot cacao drink you gave some time ago! I made a mix with a blend of powdered E3Live. which also contains various other ingredients as a super blend. It’s great and the children love it too. But the mushrooms… now that I am interested in. What is the cacao mix you are using?….thank you and all the best with your work!

  10. There’s tons of healthy ways of dealing with stress – the best of which I guess is not to cause it in the first place.

    (1) a long walk

    (2) any exercise that does not itself cause you stress!

    (3) hatha yoga

    (4) meditation

    (5) The Morry Method – lots of alpha wave programs around but this is head and shoulders above the rest

    (6) NLP to reframe the situation

    (7) Morty Lefkoe’s work

    (8) EFT ie Tapping

    (9) Hypnosis

    (10) And O yes, Healthy Hot Cocoa

    Yum, must try some of that

    🙂

    Alex

  11. Hi Robyn….

    Where do you get the mushroom cocoa stuff you have been drinking. I’d love to order some. Now, i mostly do hot almond milk with stevia and cinnamon. It’s quite yummy…. Thanks so much for all the great tips….

    You are amazing!! And thanks for your stand against the anti-anxiety drugs, they are SO not the answer… Love, Addie

  12. I have found that dancing is the best stress reducer. I just put on some music that fits my mood and dance away oodles of stress.

  13. I make sure I drink plenty of Kangen water to stay hydrated and I sleep like a baby. I also take the sublingual B vitamins when I’m stressed along with Barley Green, Green Vibrance or whatever I have on hand at the time. I juice carrots too but did not know how it helped the adrenals. Thanks for that tip. Natural Calm is another product I use fairly consistently and walking the dog once or twice a day.

  14. The fundamental obstacle to happiness, says Epicurus, is anxiety

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrapharmakos (there is a little natural foods thing in there too – odd – but super natural)

    Don’t fear god,

    Don’t worry about death;

    What is good is easy to get, and

    What is terrible is easy to endure

    (Philodemus, Herculaneum Papyrus, 1005, 4.9-14)

    (Look to see what he is talking about here – it might be different than you think)

    I think if you are stressed, one of the most ‘natural’ ingredients you can add to your life is discipline. I think the really free person in life is the one who is disciplined. Be disciplined in what you eat and drink. Hey – how about a green smoothie rather than a huge glass of orange juice with TONS of sugar to overload your adrenal glands. (Most nutritionists with a science background will recommend less than 8 oz of fruit juices a day – yup – one of your grandma’s SMALL glasses – if you are drinking more than that – you are overloading your body with sugar!) Go to bed earlier, and try playing this game one of my coaches taught me. Only allow yourself to think about things you are stressed about in life from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. No stressing about things at night.

  15. I am not a DoTerra person (I’ve been with Young Living for over 12 years), but I find that using essentials is the best remedy for stress. I even designed a personal aromatherapy diffuser pendant to be able to inhale the oils all day and longer, if necessary. I use a combination of lavender, ylang ylang, and bergamot in my Whiffer to control high blood pressure. I also put oils in my green smoothies. Orange oil is very uplifting and tastes great, too.

  16. I started drinking Choffy in December. It is a drink made from ground roasted cocoa beans, brewed like coffee. I sweeten it with Torani sugar free chocolate syrup made with splenda. It is delicious, and gives me energy (not from caffeine, but from theobromine) I just came across your blog after reading UV magazine. I have not used any of your recipes, or tried the lifestyle you promote. I am 47 and have worked to adjust my lifestyle for the best balance for me. I work out regularly, play tennis, try to eat well, take no meds, just vitamins and herbs. I was an herbal tea drinker but found Choffy satisfied the chocolate craving without the calories, and provided that warm, morning drink that helped me get started, especially in the cold weather. I plan to read your blog and browse your website at length, then decide if what you promote fits my life. I would be interested to hear what you think about choffy, if you have ever tried it or know of it.

  17. I have been on the Green Smoothies for 1 week now. I can’t believe the profound effect it has had on me. I am a Dr. Pepper fan and I used to drink alot of pop during the week. I seriously cannot believe the changes that I have experienced just in 1 week. The cravingsand munchies for sweets, pop, chips, and refined carbohydrates is gone. I feel satisfied, and well nourished. I don’t even feel like I need to go to the pantry and grab a snack in between meals. I am also drinking more water to keep my body hydrated. So don’t give up!!!!! After all that I have read since Robyn’s class,rememeber to treat your body well and it will perform the way you want it to. My new motto is “EAT TO LIVE” Hopefully I can eradicate my problems with Rheumatoid Arthritis I also have my kids and husbund on the program too as well as my dog. They love it!!!!

  18. The EFT tapping has been amazing for me, as well. After seeing a practitioner for it after suffering with severe Post-Partum anxiety/depression, I was able to avoid going on meds (which I desperately was trying to avoid…) Now (a couple years later) I use it in times of stress and lack-of-sleep induced anxiety. It is very effective. Go to http://www.emofree.com for free tapping info and a free online manual.

    As for Robyn’s hot cocoa… sounds SO good. Wish I had some this minute 🙂 I also find a warm drink soothing and comforting, and I like a cup of heated up (in a pan vs. microwave, of course!) vanilla unsweetened almond milk. I add to it stevia drops to sweeten and you can add additional flavor extracts like maple. It is yummmy! I also love the SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia English Toffee flavor. It is all natural flavoring and it is tasty (in yogurt, too!). Maybe Robyn would enjoy that, too, as another yummy option. She will probably use her own almond milk… I’m just a newbie…3 weeks into the GreenSmoothieGirl journey… 🙂

  19. thanks for answering. What I was trying to find out is it having it a lot makes your body need it more to sleep?!?!! if anyone knows–I’d love to know- since I don’t want to give to my kids (just yet)

  20. Sugar…okay however if I catch myself and realize it’s right before that time of the month I’ve got to manage my sugar cravings—I exercise, pray and meditate, spend time with friends and try and get busy doing a craft or sewing project. are those natural remedies? do you take meletonin all the time or only through stressful times Robyn?

    my mom gave it to us as kids everynight and I felt like I “needed” it–is that just a mental thing or should we use it in moderation?

    1. Placebo versus real . . . who knows. I started having sleep issues a lot as a kid, and when I discovered melatonin as an adult, it helped me tremendously, going to sleep.

  21. Hey Miss Robyn. :o) Just wanted to send you a long distance hug today. Praying that the time of stress will trickle in to a season of less stress. For me, just knowing that spring is coming soon is a help. We’ll be planting Kale soon. Fresh greens! Yea! And, working out on our Total Gym is wonderful, as well.

    I got my beloved Total Blender via UPS yesterday. Our first green smoothie with it has made the wait worth it. My first smoothie without bits of green. Woot! Awesome! My sweet daughters and I loved our chard/apple/banana/flax/ginger/blueberry smoothie this morning. Yum!

    We’ve started calling our house The Total Broun House. Ha! Total Blender + Total Gym = Totally awesome!

    I am praying that your day will be filled with blessings! Hugs, Robin

  22. Carrot juice! (the freshly juiced variety) I find whenever my adrenals are feeling low that this helps my wife and I more than anything.

  23. Capoeira is great too! I love playing it, nothing compares for me to releasee agression, stress, anxiety etc!

    I have tried the EFT and it really does work! Even doing it with a skeptical mind feeling like you look like a fool, it will still work. But as always, if you focus your mind and try to “let go” of what is causing the anxiety, it will work even better.

    As always, prayer and faith, always helps me. And I just keep saying the motto, “Keep calm, and carry on.”

  24. Prayer, to our Heavenly Father does wonders….. otherwise I just take time out for me. To sit on the couch and just think about what is bothering me. I always feel so much better then. Walking is also a great stress reliever, especially since spring (appears) to be here in central WA.

  25. Natural Calm magnesium supplement and EFT (emotional freedom techniques). I know the tapping technique looks and sounds strange, but when I was suffering from anxiety, this truly helped me. I don’t know if it was a placebo effect, but it does work:)

  26. I am anxious to hear peoples recommendations. I am new to this smoothie life and am very anxious to improve my health. One of my goals is to get off my Prozac! I only take it every other day and because I wasn’t coping well. I am hoping the fresh fruits and veggies will be what my body needs!

  27. Meditation and Pilates always work for me. If I let these practices slide, I feel the negative effects. Motivational books and tapes also can be very helpful. This past weekend I bought some essential oils…we’ll see!

    Diane

  28. I got rid of sugar about six/seven months ago and definitely don’t regret it. got rid of processed foods, gluten and dairy as well. It took a little work but the results on my general state of mind is amazing. I’d also recommend doing a breathing and meditation program that’s free and amazingly powerful called Eíriú-Eolas. It goes great lengths to helping your body process stress and other muddy emotions, and provides for quite a restful sleep as well.

    Here’s a breif intro to the program:

    And it’s website:

    http://eiriu-eolas.org/

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