Stress is our body and mind’s response to challenges and demands. Demands can be a result of more worries occurring in our daily lives, deadline driven work commitments or challenging relationships. Any such stimulus that upset our mental and physical equilibrium triggers stress.
Our lifestyle is partly to blame for increased incidents of chronic stress. As we go up the professional ladder, our social circles get smaller. We spend less time relaxing and slowing down. Long-term exposure to constant stress affects our wellness. Stress management is the only way to deal with stress effectively. In this article, we will discuss a few simple tricks to manage stress.
1. Breathing Exercises
Simple breathing exercises address effects of stress by reducing blood pressure. The breathing also exercises slowly down the pulse rate. Routine breathing exercises can make a person feel calmer and more peaceful.
- Set aside 5 minutes from your busy schedule to focus on breathing.
- Make sure to sit with an upright posture with your eyes closed. Do not cross your legs. Now, start focusing on your breathing by slowly inhaling the air through your nose and exhaling without forcing the air out.
- With every count observe your rhythm of breathing.
- Repeat this exercise until you feel relaxed.
- With regular practice, you will be able to feel the start of the breath in your abdomen.
It is one of the way to reduce stress with those simple breathing exercises.
2. Turn On The Music
Soothing music relaxes the mind by lowering blood pressure and anxiety levels while an upbeat tune can induce positivity and optimism in the listener. Studies have shown a profound correlation between our emotions and music.
- Slow and classical instrument music is known to calm the mind by reducing the anxiety and stress hormone levels in the body.
- One can listen to nature sounds of birds, a flowing brook or the ocean. Various sounds of nature help us to focus on different voice qualities and frequencies. This technique has a calming effect on tense and restless minds.
- One can also sing aloud or croon to their favourite tunes with karaoke.
3. Connect And Communicate
When we meet and spend time with our friends, our stress levels reduce significantly. Sharing our thoughts and feelings with our friends can make us feel happier and more contented.
- Connecting with our near and dear ones will help us to get a fresh perspective.
- Anyone who has a strong support system of friends and family tends to feel secure, confident and optimistic.
Taking a break of 10 minutes every day for meditating can improve mental health tremendously. Regular meditation decreases anxiety and depression and also enhances positive emotions. Meditation is also a great tool for practicing self-control as it improves our thought process and regulates introspection.
Ensure a proper sitting posture and comfortable seating to begin your practice. Close your eyes and start with the breathing exercise. Focus on slow and rhythmic breathing. As you observe your breathing, focus on your body and mind. This can be daunting for beginners but with more practice, meditation becomes relaxing. Some of the well-known meditation techniques are:
- Guided Meditations- There are many CD’s and online resources that can be used to help practice meditation.
- Mindfulness Meditation- Mindfulness meditation is a Buddhist practice that helps us to focus on the present moment. It makes us aware of ourselves and our surroundings. The concept of mindfulness is to face the challenges with awareness without escaping from sufferings.
- Chakra Meditation- The chakra meditation is based on observation. The concept is to observe our bodies and minds. This technique is known to enhance self-awareness.
5. Walk And Stretch
You need not spend hours in the gym to exercise. Instead, a brisk walk for 10 -15 minutes can help you feel refreshed. To beat stress, stretching exercises such as head rolls and shoulder shrugs are also very beneficial. Any form of exercise releases chemicals known as endorphins. These chemicals interact with the receptors in the brain. Endorphins reduce the perception of pain and they induce a pleasant feeling in the body.
We cannot avoid stress as it is an inevitable part of our lives. However, long-term exposure to high-stress levels can affect us mentally and physically. We must practice stress management to keep our stress levels in check. We can follow a few easy tricks to relax in our everyday lives, even with our busy schedules. We must commit to caring for our mental and physical health so we can lead a healthy and contented life.