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I  have a 14 month old, I’m pregnant (and hi-risk) and I’m in the military (as is my husband) and work long, bizarre hours, we are often strapped for money, time and everything else…and, like just about everyone else in our society, I’m stressed…

I almost wonder if there isn’t some grand conspiracy of business, government and media to keep us that way, in the interests of making money off of us…I read a book that discusses that the more insecure women are made thru advertising (in the discussion of the book, about their periods), the more money they spend on feminine hygene products–I have seen this idea echoed in other articles and such, and I believe it whole heartedly—just look at the diet industry, the make-up industry, the fashion industry (to name a few).

I have had to work on decreasing my stress level, as well as some of my normal habits and actions…it is quite difficult for me to relax…  Clinically speaking, I have some hypervigilance issues, which tend to manifest as trigger point pain and a wee touch of OCD (the military loves that trait–but my family does NOT).

Other than the tips below, the best thing I have done thus far has been to create an environment designed to relax and recharge, to welcome and make one feel secure…reducing clutter, creating a cleaning schedule, embracing the imperfect, soothing colors, scents, as well as cleansing and blessing the home can all go along way to achieving this.

Natural Remedies for Tension and StressThe best treatment for anxiety, tension and stress is to identify and eliminate or reduce stressors and to identify negative coping patterns and replace them with positive coping strategies.

*Keep your body healthy with proper nutrition and exercise.
*Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sugar and refined foods.
*Nutritional supplements such as calcium (1,000 mg per day), magnesium (400 to 600 mg per day), and B complex vitamins (50 to 100 mg per day can help support the nervous system and minimize the effects of stress.
*Relaxation techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, biofeedback, meditation, and self-hypnosis can be effective in relieving tension, stress and anxiety.

For those times when stress is unavoidable but manageable, consider the following:

*One 8 oz cup of chamomile or lavender or a chamomile and lavender combination tea can be taken to reduce anxiety, nervousness and tension.
*Herbs useful for reducing anxiety and stress include passionflower, valerian, kava, as well as most of the mint family, including varieties such as catnip and lemon balm.
*Aromatherapy can be excellent for reducing anxiety and environmental stressors and promoting a relaxing environment.  Lavender is especially good for this.  Put some essential oil on a cotton ball in your room, burn a lavender candle or put a cup of lavender flowers in a muslin/cheese cloth bag and put in your bath water.
*Other essential oils that are useful for promoting relaxation and relieving anxiety are bergamot, cypress, geranium, jasmine, lemon balm, neroli, rose, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang.
*Massage is a great stress reducer.  The following points can helprelieve anxiety, tension and stress.

*For some other ideas, try http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/47/123.cfm