“I have nothing to do, its stressing me out”
“God!! its stressful, I can’t handle it!!”
“I am too stressed, have lots to do for my exams”
At work, in social circles, within family, one of the most common phrases I hear day in day out is regarding stress. Stress is a fact of life and is actually a form of fear. Fear of what?? Well, that depends on what we are stressed about… We fear consequences, “all negative” in this case.
I personally think stress is a cause of negative thinking. It not only hinders our work, it can have a serious impact on our health too. Hence, it is very important to tackle it in time for a healthy mind and a healthy body. I am a believer in relaxation techniques. A state of deep relaxation actually counters the mental fear response, it decreases muscle tension (remember those stiff shoulders you get when afraid or stressed?), controls blood pressure & heart rate.
I’d like to share a few relaxation techniques I use for Stress Control, please try them and let me know of your experience:
Breathe properly; it’s really important. Stress makes us breathe in short breaths from high up in our chest. In all the relaxation techniques I have read, they always recommend breathing deeply starting from our abdomen i.e. fill in your abdomen first and then the top part of the chest to get more oxygen to our brain and muscles.
Try this simple exercise – Sit straight on a chair or lie down on your bed. With one hand on your abdomen, take a deep breath in through your nose, feeling your hand rise as you fill your lower lungs with air, then fill in your upper lungs. Hold your breath for a moment and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Get rid of all the air and along with it breathe out all the stress in your body. Yes, imagine doing that. This works for any aching parts of your body too. Focus on them when doing the exercise.
Repeat several times, until you feel relaxed. With practice, you’ll be able to use this technique whenever you feel stressed. I have used it. In fact I and Tamreez do these exercises sometimes with a relaxation techniques CD we have. It just takes a few mins and we are both sleeping :). Trust me it works!
Imagine yourself in a peaceful place
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a tranquil place… an island, a beach, your village, whatever you find peaceful. Feel your breathing and slowly relax yourself into the scene. Fill in the scene with details. What do you smell, feel, see and hear?
It takes your mind off stress and the body heals itself. Try it and let us know how it went.
Get out and exercise
Haha, I am saying it and Tamreez will laugh at me. I have become a lazy bum these days. Physical activity is a great way to get rid of stress. Regular exercise can improve breathing, blood circulation, concentration and energy level goes up, it also controls things like blood pressure and cholesterol etc.
I did a course in ‘Superworking’ a couple of years ago. This was one of the most important things highlighted for a healthy brain. It is recommended to do at least 20 mins of exercise everyday. It can be anything from brisk walking, going up and down the stairs etc. The key is to do it in one go i.e. 20 mins of exercising with no breaks.
Think about it, is your stress worth stressing about?
Each one of us look at the world from a point of view. These are the invisible goggles we are wearing that give us a different view of the world. Sometimes our stress is a cause of our perception of a situation rather than the situation itself. Reconsider the cause of your stress and ask yourself if you’re worrying unnecessarily. Talk to yourself, have an internal debate and reason it out. Sometimes it works!
Always works for me. Listening to relaxing music can help – Lata and Kishore work for me :) I also like listening to just instrumental music.
Hope these tips are helpful. Keep smiling :)