Nasal congestion is a very common problem characterized by a runny nose, sinus pain, mucus buildup, and swollen nasal tissue that affects millions of people every year. It is usually a symptom of another health condition such as a sinus infection, the common cold, the flu, or even all types of allergies. The good news is that you can relieve your stuffy nose with proper treatment to breathe better and stop blowing your nose every five minutes – we all know how annoying this can be.

Without further ado, here are eight effective ways to get rid of your stuffy nose.

1. Stay hydrated

When you have a cold or another condition that causes similar symptoms, doctors always advise you to drink more fluids. In this case, increasing your fluid intake will thin the mucus in your nose and decrease the pressure in your nasal sinuses, which in turn will reduce inflammation and help you breathe more easily. Chicken soup is also an amazing and delicious home remedy for stuffy nose. It not only helps you stay hydrated, but the hot broth can also help loosen mucus. Tea can produce a similar effect, and both these options will help you soothe your throat in case you’re also experiencing a sore throat in addition to a stuffy nose (which happens very often).

2. Humidifier

A humidifier adds moisture to the indoor air, and when used correctly, it can positively impact the body, including the relief of flu and cold symptoms. Breathing moist air will have a relaxing effect on the blood vessels in your nose and thin the mucus. Buying a humidifier can be a great option, especially if you live in a dry area and have other problems related to air dryness, such as dry skin.

3. Hot shower

Taking a hot shower is relaxing and extremely satisfying at any time of the year. But it feels especially nice during those freezing winter days when you have a couple of cold symptoms. It just makes you feel and breathe better, right? That’s because the shower steam reduces inflammation and thins the mucus. Directly breathing hot steam is one of the simplest and most effective natural remedies for a stuffy nose. If you don’t want to take a shower, but you still want to enjoy the sinus benefits it offers, you can pour hot water into a large pan, put a towel over your head, and put your head over the pan to breathe the steam that will build up. Be careful not to burn your face.

4. Nose decongestant medications

Decongestant medications were developed to shrink the blood vessels inside your nose so that they no longer block the airway. These medications are highly effective in getting rid of that annoying stuffy nose symptom and you can get it without a prescription, so you don’t need to go to the doctor before using them. However, you should carefully read the information leaflet before using them and talk to an expert if you have any doubts. The most common nasal spray for sinus includes oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Sinex). Some saline solutions also have decongestant compounds to increase their effectiveness you can use them, but you have to consider their side effects. If you don’t like to use nasal sprays, you can opt for decongestant pills instead.

5. Exercise

Have you ever noticed how exercise makes you breathe much better? If allergies are the cause of your stuffy nose, do a short workout session. It will increase both your heart rate and body temperature, which in turn will clear your nasal passages and help you breathe without difficulty. You will be simultaneously decongesting your nose and improving your fitness condition. That’s what we call a win-win situation.

6. Nasal wash

Washing the inside of your nose is a good way to loosen and flush out all the mucus that is bothering you and making it harder to breathe. You can either use a nasal irrigation kit or a neti pot, two products that are widely available in drugstores and supermarkets. It’s important to read and follow the instructions to make sure you perform a correct nasal wash and avoid hurting yourself. It’s also a good idea to use distilled water or a saline solution. This might be a somewhat difficult and awkward task, but it works wonders. Try it a few times, and you’ll get used to it!

7. Warm compress

A warm compress can be another great home remedy to relieve your stuffy nose. It’s easy to make: you need a small towel and warm water. Soak the towel in warm water, squeeze the excess water, fold it nicely, and put it over your forehead (or your nose, whatever is more comfortable for you). The heat will open your nasal passages and reduce inflammation, allowing you to breathe more comfortably. If your stuffy nose makes it hard to fall asleep, this is a great method for you to try before bedtime. Speaking of which, sleep experts recommend people with stuffed noses to sleep on their back to allow the mucus to drain out (adding an extra pillow might also be a good idea). It is important not to let this symptom affect your overall sleep quality. Because if it does, it can have a very negative impact on your life.

8. Peppermint tea or peppermint essential oils

Menthol, known as the main active ingredient in peppermint, is a natural decongestant. This compound alters the mucus receptors in the nose and acts as a stuffy nose remedy. It also helps fight one of the root causes of sinus congestions: bacteria. To make a delicious homemade peppermint tea, pour a cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried peppermint, wait a couple of minutes, and enjoy your tasty, cozy tea!