The term stress is used in many different contexts in our everyday lives. We are stressed when we change jobs, when our air conditioning doesn’t work, we have an exam approaching, we are unable to reach our weight loss goals, or to get to school on time to pick our kids.
Stress is any situation which makes us feel unable to cope with our circumstances, a feeling as if everything has gone out of control. Whether positive or negative, regular stress affects our health, and causes depression, anxiety, heart problems, cold , flu and many other ailments besides biochemical reactions releasing hormones which make the body go into the fight or flight mode.
Here are seven effective techniques for managing everyday stress and not allowing it to disrupt life-
1. Let it out
The best way to relieve stress is to talk it out with someone you trust-friend, spouse or a family member. If you can’t or don’t wish to, then just scribble out your feelings on a piece of paper. Venting out almost always makes one feel light instantly.
- 2. Deep breathing
The most tried and tested way to feel calm is to take deep breaths.
Take long deep breaths through your nostrils feeling your abdomen expand in the process, wait for 2 seconds and exhale, drawing in your abdomen. Doing this a few times circulates fresh oxygen and relieves stress.
- Touch the tips of your index fingers on the joints where your jaws meet, then inhale and exhale alternately.
While taking regular morning and evening walks has no comparison when it comes to having a healthy mind and body, there are some exercises you can do to have immediate relief from stress_
- Stand upright without slouching. This relieves muscular tension.
Stretching exercises are great stress-busters as they loosen muscles and increase blood flow.
- The Chinese practice of Qigong provides many calming exercises to promote the flow of positive energy in the body.
- Rub the palms of your hands together and place them on your eyes for 3 minutes.
4. Being optimistic
Instead of feeling victimized by your circumstances, do a thorough analysis of your job, home environment or anything that triggers stress. Take small positive steps to improve your situation rather than bearing it grudgingly. Develop your own positive mantra such as “I can do it and I’m capable”, and repeat it to yourself daily.
5. Setting limits
Learn to say “no” before you arrive at breaking point. Accept that there are certain things which won’t get done, and there are certain people whom you can never please.
Each day or weekend, schedule a little time for the hobby that you have kept on the backburner. It releases feel good hormones like endorphins that make your mind calm and happy.
This is a recent technique where in you are taught to be aware of each and every moment in your present. This removes focus from stressful situations. Close your eyes and imagine yourself to be in a calming scenario such as a lush hillside, or a serene beach, for a few minutes.