Once you’re stressed out, it’s hard to escape from it. That flood of stress hormones can make your mood shift, make you feel incredibly overwhelmed, and make your anxiety levels creep to an all-time high. In those moments, it’s hard to know what to do in order to relax your body and feel like yourself again. But according to functional medicine doctor, Mark Hyman, MD, there’s a solution: an “UltraBath.”
Dr. Hyman recently shared the ways he makes U-turns when he’s feeling stressed. While he wrote on Instagram that he loves burning off stress hormones by working up a sweat, sometimes he doesn’t feel like moving at all. And that’s where an UltraBath comes in, which is essentially a bath loaded with everything you need to melt your sweat away in minutes. “For the lazy among us (including me), an UltraBath is a secret weapon against stress,” he says.
You only need a handful of ingredients for your UltraBath—all things you probably already have at home. “Add two cups of Epsom salt (which contains magnesium, the relaxation mineral), a half-cup of baking soda, and 10 drops of lavender oil (which lowers cortisol) to a very hot bath,” Dr. Hyman says. “Then, add one stressed human and soak for 20 minutes. Guaranteed to induce relaxation.”
If you really want to super-charge your stress-relief, take a handful of deep breaths before you hop on the tub. Dr. Hyman says most people hold their breath often or breathe shallow, anxious breaths. So when you do the opposite, you allow your body to relax. “Take five deep breaths and observe how differently you feel after,” he says. “Deep, slow, full breaths have a profound effect on resetting the stress response, because the relaxation nerve (or vagus nerve and not the Las Vegas nerve) goes through your diaphragm and is activated with every deep breath.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m drawing a lavender-infused bath as we speak.