Stress is the child of modern life and it affects most of us. Stress management training and therapies are long- term aids and most of us look about for quick short term products or 'calm-me down' resources that relieve us from stress and offer relaxation.
Stress can cause frustration, anger and alienation and when left unchecked can lead to sleep apnea, feelings of helplessness and even depression. Stress can affect one's career, family and even mind and body at once.
It is estimated that about 1 million workers are absent from work on an average workday because of stress issues. And across the world, stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, accidents, lung ailments, and even suicide.
Prescription medications can help relieve stress but many of these are quite expensive and they have negative side effects. You can find plenty of products touted as stress busters. Such stress relief products are many and they include feng shui water fountains, wall fountains, bean bag chairs, natural awakening alarm clocks, hammocks, firepots, wind spinners, engraved stones and more.
Feng shui fountain and stress relief
Perhaps the most popular of stress relief products is the 'water fountain'. These fountains have become very popular over the last decade. Water fountains aid in stress relief and relaxation, act as a natural humidifier and improve the air quality with negative ions and produce soothing water sounds which can drown annoying sounds. Desktop fountains at the office can relieve the everyday stresses of work environment.
Worry beads and fidget toys
This is a traditional stress reliever in Greece for hundreds of years now. Worry beads began as prayer counting beads for Greek monks. Although they were used by men in early days, today many women have adopted them as a stress toy. There are usually 16 -23 beads on a knotted string.
The beads are held in the hand so that they encircle the bearer's fingers and the beads are counted by pulling them downward with the thumb. The beads can be counted numerically or by uttering a mantra or affirmation with each count.
Another form of worry beads is called 'mala' and this is from the Buddhist tradition. They can be strung as small as item fit for the wrist. Research shows that such distracters can be comforting in stressful times.
A variation of the same worry beads is 'fidget toys' and as the very name implies - these are tiny toys and objects that give something to fidget that can help relieve some of the physical tension associated with your anxiety. You can stretch, twist, turn, click, bounce or squeeze them.
There are bendable toy figures, such as twist and tangle toys, expandable balls, Silly Putty and Slinkys, stretch toys and squeeze toys, which come in innumerable variations and help vent out frustrations. These toys also help expend the nervous energy.
Music: Music has charms 'to soothe the savage breast'. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. As Henry Ward Beecher proclaimed, 'Music cleanses the understanding, inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself'.
Such music which is stress relieving should be gentle and charming. It should be as graceful as Gregorian chants. Natural sounds, such as birdsong, a gentle rain, waves lapping, marching sights, can transport the imagination and feelings to quiet gardens, unspoiled beaches, and magically relaxing places.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is an age old technique used for combating stress. From aromatherapy candles to salts, there are several products that bust stress. Aromatherapy oils with soothing fragrances like chamomile jasmine, orange, lemon, sandalwood and others are known to have soothing properties to invoke positive emotions.
Research has well established the emotional effects of stimulating the senses with smell, which can instantly evoke powerful feelings. For instance, you can smell pine and think of Christmas trees or walk in the forest. A number of such essential oils are available in the open market as well as online. Aromatherapy helps in driving away the blues and leaves the person fresh and relaxed.
Tabletop candle : These are mostly used in romantic settings and looking at them can be inspirational, comforting and relaxing. Candles come in various scents and they provide aromatherapy.
Herbal stress relief products
There are times when one feels that the stress level is too high Hot water bath may be a solution or a relaxing massage or yoga and meditation.
In addition to these methods, there exist certain herbal stress relief products that help to relax, unwind and drive away the stress. Such natural health products and alternative medicines are significantly increasing in popularity to cure stress.
It is significant to know that the herbal stress relief was described as early as 5000 years ago in India. Dr.Edward Bach popularized the herbal stress management supplements in the west from 1920s onwards. Since then, herbal remedies for stress is also on the increase.
Herbal natural stress relievers have no side effects. Either a single herb or a combination of herbal products is used in the stress management therapy. While Valerian is the oldest in the herbal treatment of stress, Kava is the latest addition.
This is a derivative of the pepper family and is indigenous to the Indonesian and Polynesian group of islands. Kava can be taken as a whole herb or extracts of the herb. It comes both in liquid and pill forms. When drunk, Kava gives a sense of well being. Kava lactones also help in relaxation. Kava does not affect the memories or mental alertness. Kava can relieve stress, muscles and also induce peaceful sleep.
Valerian is the oldest of herbal stress relievers. It is akin to Diazepam which is used to calm down persons. Valerian can relax the nerves and induce sleep. It is also helpful to ease premenstrual tensions.
Passion Flower can be used singly or in combination. This contains flavonoids which act as anti oxidants. They help to neutralize the highly damaging oxygen ions. Passion flower is a sedative and it can decrease anxiety and stress and induce deep sleep.
There are various other herbal products such as Skull Cap, Hops, Catnip, Chamomile and Rhodiola which act as nerve tonics, tranquilizers, boosts immunity and calms down an anxious person by acting on the brain.
Stress relief massagers
A good massage can help get rid of stress and improve the blood circulation in the body. Soreness and pain can be driven away. Massages are of different sorts, some specifically targeted for the head, face, back and hand and foot massagers and whole body massagers. These could be motored or manual.
Foot massagers with their relaxing and refreshing water currents are quite popular. They can simply do wonders for relieving stress and tension. Hand held massagers also relieve stress and head massagers help to massage various important points in the head and this is a great stress buster. Massage chairs with several massage points are the ultimate in massaging experience.
Other innovative stress relief products
A Zen garden kit can add beauty and serenity to the desktop. Arranging polished stones and tracing out patterns in the white sand can induce tranquility and a sense of well being.
Puzzles and games give the mind a workout and can create a relaxed state. The mind focuses on stress relief game and puzzles rather than stress factors. Rubix Cube and Scrabble can be of great help.
In addition to the stress relief products listed above, there exists a wide range of unusual or innovative range of stress relief products which help people to unwind and rid stress. Optical machines can make a kaleidoscope of colors with light, sound conditioners can cancel noise from the surroundings and let them a good night's sleep, pillows including butterfly pillow or memory foam or pillows with speakers can be used as stress relief products. Even video games are great stress busters.