Five tips on reducing stress

These are extremely stressful times. And if the constant stream of headlines is making you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Most of us are feeling increased levels of stress, whether it’s triggered by concern for the vulnerable people in your life, or money worries ahead of a potential shut down - there’s a lot to take in and process.

Rituals naturally help reduce anxiety and stress because they focus on what is familiar and don’t take much conscious thinking. We thought we’d share some of the small daily rituals that the OTO team use to help calm their minds. Try adding one, two or all to your morning routine.

  1. Breathing Exercises

    Conscious breathing has a calming effect on our nervous system. A simple and effective breathing technique that is helpful for calming symptoms of stress & anxiety is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. Dr. Weil, who has developed this technique, describes it as “a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system”.

    4 -  start by breathing deeply right into your stomach while you count to four

    7  - hold your breath while you count to seven

    8  - breathe out audibly for eight

    Repeat this cycle four times.

  2. Count Your Blessings

    One of the unfortunate ways anxiety and stress work is that it shifts our focus on to the negative. Instead of seeing things as they really are, we pick out the negative details about our life and dwell on them.

    That’s why a powerful morning ritual is to do the exact opposite - remind yourself of something that’s good in your life.

    Maybe it’s thinking about the last time you belly-laughed with your best friend, or how you have a warm & comfortable bed to rest in, or a particular piece of clothing that makes you happy - channel Marie Kondo and think of anything that sparks joy.

    In the OTO office, we like to concentrate our minds by combining this positivity moment with the physical motion of rolling our oils onto our temples and wrists.

  3. Do A Small Workout

    Physical activity of any kind is an effective treatment for anxiety or stress - a number of studies have shown how daily exercise can be as powerful, or in some cases even more powerful, than common anxiety medication.

    It not only helps the mind process and deal with thoughts and worries, it can physically help the body recover from the feelings that come with stress & anxiety as well. And let’s not forget your post-exercise endorphin release!

    Find something active that doesn’t take up too much of your time to focus on when you first wake up. Whether it’s a brief workout from YouTube, an outdoor run or a short yoga flow - exercise reduces stress hormones and releases neurotransmitters into the brain that help us relax.

  4. Quietly Drink A Hot Drink

    Rituals naturally help reduce anxiety and stress because they focus on what is familiar and don’t take much conscious thinking.

    Choosing to make a hot drink and taking our time to drink it peacefully is a quick and easy ritual to add to your daily routine. The added bonus is that if you choose to go drink a herbal tea, many have calming effects as they contain the anxiety-reducing amino acid L-Theanine which gives us that welcome warming sensation when we sit down to drink.

    To further amplify your calming moment & feel the power of CBD at a time when you need it most, you could even add a few drops of our OTO CBD Bitters to your hot drink..

  5. Communicate

    We’ve all heard the adage, a problem shared is a problem halved - and there’s a definite point to it!

    We’re all in the same boat and talking to a loved one about how you’re feeling may help waylay any feelings of anxiety, stress or impending doom.

    Many of us think that when it comes to sharing our problems and worries, we don’t want to be a bother - however it’s time to turn this opinion on its head. Chances are if someone you loved was struggling internally, you would want them to come to you.

    Find someone you trust and share your thoughts - you might find a weight lifts instantly.