Natural Ways To Calm And De-Stress Your Mind And Body
A wise old man once said that he lived for 100 years because he slept during the time when he could have been ‘awake’ and ‘stressed out’.Stress is as old as humanity; it opposes the body’s relaxation mechanism. However, all of it is not bad. Short intermittent stress can be considered good, as it helps us to stay motivated, reach our goals, survive, and even excel.
But when stress checks into our minds and bodies as a long-term guest, it upsets the natural rhythm of the body- we eat more, sleep less, and so on. This chronic stress has undesired effects in all dimensions.
Work and finances are the key reasons people attribute their stress to. Today, however, the problem of stress has accelerated due to social media and electronic communication. An integrated approach can help you deal with stress.
Before I share, what an integrated approach looks like, let me highlight the 2 ‘activities’ I pursue, to calm or de-stress myself.
- Spending time with my little one: I try to be mindful and not to multitask all the time. This helps in finding quality time to be spent with my little one. Incidentally, spending time with my son is a sure-shot way for me to relax, but there are days when I get to spend very little time with him. I have observed that even if I spend 5 minutes with my son and I am mindful while listening to him or interacting with him, the quality of interaction becomes rich and our bond gets strong. This experience helps me feel calm.
- Learning from our ancient scriptures: The second activity is something that started off as an urge to develop a better understanding of our ancient scriptures, and so far, I have taken baby steps in that direction. However, I must share with you all, that in our ancient scriptures- Vedanta and Bhagavad Gita, there are solutions to problems that we face in our modern day-to-day life. Understanding and following these principles is a foolproof way of combating stress.
Lord Shri Krishna said something very useful about dealing with stress:
“tasmad apriharye’rthe na tvam shochitum arhasi” (Do not worry about things that are inevitable!)
Most of the times, stress is just an outcome of our own foolishness, therefore, the solution also lies in the proper use of our intellect.
Staying calm and making sure that we de-stress, require a multipronged approach. Here are some tips that are known to work:
- Work schedule: Prioritise activities, so that you are not always under pressure or stress.
- Sleep: Get good sleep. Sleep at the same time and for the same duration, every night.
- Get enough exercise, each day: Light cardio exercise, including brisk walking or yoga (pranayama is a good option) is recommended. You can pursue any other activity that helps you relax. Any such activity will help you become mentally and physically strong.
- Meditation: Meditation helps you relax. Studies show that meditation reduces the systolic (upper value) blood pressure by 5 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more. The practice of meditation blocks the effect of norepinephrine, an ‘emergency’ hormone that raises the blood pressure and increases the heart rate.
- Food: Long-term stress often makes us crave for more food. Hence, keep a watchful eye on food intake and avoid sugary food, aerated drinks, packaged snacks et cetera.
- Social health: Hang out with close friends and family, confide in them and they might offer solutions that you don’t see.
- Use devices wisely: Be disciplined in the usage of device/electronics gazettes.