Want To Relax & Stress Less? These 9 Science-Backed Products Can Help
We've all felt stress at one point or another, and we know how quickly it can add up. With so much going on in our individual lives and the world at large, the truth is, we can't avoid stressors altogether (nor should we try). But we can take steps to ease our stress, and the following nine products are backed by research to help with just that:
A calming supplement
Calming supplements are designed to help enhance your mood whenever you could use a little extra support.* Be sure to look for one that uses ingredients with clinical research, at doses high enough to actually promote relaxation—such as mindbodygreen's calm+, which contains USDA and EU certified organic hemp oil that is full-spectrum, ashwagandha extract, and, last but not least, calming lavender oil.* (And for more product picks, check out our roundup of supplements for stress.)
Check out: mindbodygreen's calm+
With a number of essential oils found to have relaxing effects on the body and mind in clinical research, there's a scent out there for everyone. From rose to lavender, you can grab your favorite essential oil roller or plug in your diffuser, and experience the chill for yourself firsthand. Here are our top tips for using these plant compounds—bonus points if you take deep, calming breaths as you do so.
Check out: Vitruvi Organic Lavender Essential Oil
The only thing better than a warm, soothing bath, is one loaded up with Epsom salts—which harness the relaxing benefits of the mineral magnesium. And with your average 8-pound bag costing roughly $5, Epsom salts are a super-accessible tool to calm the body and mind. (Just make sure you're using enough of them in the bath!)
Check out: Solimo Epsom Salt Soak
A meditation cushion
Time and time again, research shows meditation is a powerful tool1 for managing the stress response—but if you can't sit comfortably, you might not get far. Sitting still can be a challenge, so opt for a meditation cushion that helps you sit easily with good posture. That way, you can sink deeper into your meditation practice and feel the stress-reducing benefits without fidgeting every 30 seconds. Here are some other props that can take your meditation space to the next level.
For the moments when stress hits outside the comfort of your own home, a pair of noise-canceling headphones can help you listen to calming books on the move. Sign up for a subscription service like Audible for easy access to titles that transport you to a mystical world, give you tangible well-being advice, or anything in between.
Or, if you're in the mood for something more spiritual, why not immerse yourself in a sound bath? Sound healing has long been a part of healing practices around the world, with the power to alter our brainwaves and help us get into more relaxed states. It's been shown to help take the edge off everything from sleep disorders and addiction down to occasional stress and anxiousness. Sacred Acoustics recordings are great for getting started.
Check out: Bose QuietComfort® 45 headphones
A coloring book
Have you ever experienced a "flow state" when your mind seemed to go quiet as you poured all your attention into a project? These instances of clarity can offer instantaneous relief from monkey mind, and one easy way to tap into that mental space is simply by coloring. Allow your mind to relax as you focus on filling in the blanks of your favorite coloring book.
Check out: The Mindfulness Coloring Book
A calming tea
Sip your stress away with teas brewed for their calming properties. Chamomile, for instance, is believed to have significant anti-anxiety2 and antidepressant properties. If you're not into the taste of chamomile, other calming blends can include lavender, fennel, rose, passionflower, and more. Be sure to check out our top five best teas for stress to find one that's right for you.
Check out: Pukka Relax Organic Herbal Tea
A back massager
Massage therapy has been proved in research to lower cortisol levels3 (aka the stress hormone) and even increase serotonin and dopamine. The good news is, if you can't book a massage appointment every day, there are a number of personal massage tools on the market today, like compact massage pillows that can be used anywhere you're holding tension, from your neck to your feet.
Check out: Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager
A yoga mat
And last but not least, we couldn't leave out yoga as a powerful practice for combating stress. In fact, research has shown4 yoga can not only reduces stress, anxiety, and depression but enhances overall well-being and quality of life in general. Get your practice started with one of these amazing yoga mats that will help you get in the zone and hold your favorite poses with confidence.
Check out: Lululemon The Reversible Mat 5mm
The bottom line.
When we can't avoid stressors, we want to have an arsenal of stress-busting tools and techniques to help us stay levelheaded. Along with more obvious lifestyle factors like getting sufficient exercise, not overdoing it on the caffeine, and getting enough sleep, sometimes we need an extra hand when combating anxiousness. These products, paired with a healthy, stress-mitigating lifestyle, can help us all breathe a bit easier.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.