Stress and tension have become an integral part of our lives. You have a board meeting coming up? You’re stressed. You have to organize your brother’s wedding? You’re stressed. You have to pick up a dress for your girlfriend? You’re stressed out of your mind! From the nerve-wracking traffic to the continuous loop of thoughts running in our head, stress is here to stay. And we only need to find a smart way to deal with it. You can either play safe and keep yourself stress-free or you can armor yourself with some daily habits and get into the battlefield for a head-on collision with the enemy called stress.
While we all seem to have a thorough knowledge of how to make our lives more taxing, we need to learn to relax, too. So we are going a step ahead and letting you in on some secrets to keep stress at a comfortable distance from yourself. If you are ready for some routine-altering methods, go ahead and read.
1. Mediate For A Good Mood
No brownie points if you had guessed this beforehand. When you implement meditation techniques in your daily schedule, you are investing in a future of good mood and a healthy, stress-free life (1). Meditation is more of assuming a mental state than seating yourself in a yogic position and chanting “Om”. You need to focus on your breathing and gradually shift the focus to the whole of your body. That’s the thumb rule of meditation – you need to consciously breathe and become aware of every part of your body. You needn’t restrict yourself to a meditation class or a session of yoga. Meditation can be as simple as sitting with a calm state of mind, in the backyard of your home and just focusing on your breathing and your body. Indulge in complete mental relaxation.
2. Spend Some Quality Time
Imagine spending the whole day with someone you love, it could be your mom, your BFF, your partner, or your dog (because, who needs humans) (2). Now contrast that picture with a day spent with someone whom you can’t stand. What a nightmare! The second situation calls for a lot of stress, anxiety, and a whole lot of unsolicited negative vibes, right? Spending quality time with people or pets you love eases your stressful life. Make a call to your best friend and chat away, or go on a lunch date with your partner, or take your mom out for a day full of shopping (3). When you give love and receive love, the cortisol (the stress hormone) levels decrease and the oxytocin or love hormones that make us happy increase.
A combination of conscious breathing, deep stretching, and mindful meditation can equip you to bid goodbye to stress and anxiety. If you are someone who is laid back in nature and love working out at a slow pace, then go the yoga way. All you need is some easy poses to reduce stress (4).
Paschimottanasana or seated forward bend pose, Uttana Shishosana or extended puppy pose and Uttanasana or standing forward bend pose should be your go-to asanas to release stress.
4. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
When was the last time you slept before midnight and received about 8 hours of sleep? We understand that parties, work, social life (or the lack thereof) can sometimes wreck a havoc in our sleep schedule (5). But, not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling cranky and groggy the next morning. And to keep yourself up, you indulge in eating junk food or sipping up a lot of caffeine (6).
Wind down with a warm bath or shower, and do things that will help you relax – including reading, listening to music or playing an instrument. Getting a good night’s sleep can protect your mind against stress tremendously.
5. La La Lavender
ot many people are aware but lavender is known to be a soothing scent that can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. It, in fact, has a sedating effect on us and can relax certain muscles (7). You can brew lavender and use it as a tea, or you can use its aromatherapy to beat anxiety, depression, restlessness, or insomnia. Plug in a lavender-scented air freshener or light a lavender candle, and get ready for the stress to melt away. You can even pour a few drops of lavender essential oil on the pillow and let it work its magic.
Life gets stressful, and the times could get really tough, but we all need to master the art of sailing the rough seas. Simple life changes like the aforementioned can help you stay calm even in the toughest of situations. What are your stress releasers? Tell us in the comments below.