Can Stress-Relief Products Help? Find Out!

Stress relief product

You’re stressed out, and you see an ad for a product—an oil, candle, cream, herbal tea, pill, or a portion—that promises to make all your cares disappear. Should you soak in an aromatic bath, have a massage, squeeze foam balls? In most cases, you’re probably not doing yourself much harm, but you aren’t necessarily doing yourself much good either.

Keep these considerations in mind:

Be wary of instant cures. Regardless of the promises on the label, it’s unrealistic to expect any magic ingredients or products to make all your problems disappear.

Focus on stress-reducing behavior, rather than a product. An aromatic candle may not bring instant serenity, but if you light a candle and meditate, you may indeed feel more at peace. A scented pillow may not be a cure for stress, but if it helps you get a good night’s sleep, you’ll cope better the next day.

Experiment with physical ways to work out stress. Exercise is one of the best ways to lower your stress levels. Try walking, running, swimming, cycling, kickboxing—anything physical that helps you release tension.

Don’t make matters worse by smoking (the chemicals in cigarettes increase heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones), consuming too much caffeine (it speeds up your system for hours), eating snacks high in sugar (it produces a quick high followed by sudden slump), or turning to drugs or alcohol (they can only add to your stress when their effects wear off).

Be cautious when trying “alternative” products. “Natural” products, such as herbs and enzymes, claim to have psychological effects. However, because they are not classified as drugs, these products have not undergone the rigorous scientific testing required of psychiatric medications, and little is known about their safety or efficacy. “Natural” doesn’t mean risk-free. Opium and cocaine are “natural” substances that have dramatic and potentially deadly effects on the mind.

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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