Feeling exhausted, anxious — or just not yourself these days? You’re not alone.
In the words of Dr Deepak Chopra,
alternate medicine advocate and best selling author “The world is confronting three pandemics at the moment – the virus, financial crisis and the panic that is manifesting as stress”.
Like it or not, stress is a complex relationship that brings the best and worst in every one of us.
Understandably so, as city slickers with power-packed routines, the emotional toll of this global pandemic is real, and most often the media always presents more negative stories than positive ones.
These, of course, are just the tip of our daily anxiety iceberg. No matter who you are or your life, chances are you’ve got stress brewing from time to time.
But just before we stack all our problems like hotcakes, we have to believe there’s good news to beat those blues.
Read: Yoga for mental health
Effects of Stress on Physical Body
Let’s deep dive into how stress affects the mind and body and how stress management can uplift your mood, boost immune function and promote longevity.
Simply put, stress is our response to what’s happening around us. In other words, it’s not the late payments, work conflicts or arguments with our loved one that causes stress – it’s our thoughts and the story we tell ourselves about an event or circumstance that creates an emotional upset, shallow breath, surging adrenalin, racing heartbeat and other symptoms of worry.
This is because each of us has our own unique set of experiences in life and react to each of them differently.
So if your life experiences have several traumatic events and you did not have the opportunity to recover fully, this leaves you more vulnerable to the next stressful situation.
What is Stress?
Medical experts suggest that when the body encounters stress, it releases three hormones- adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol.
The amount of each hormone is released quickly, and the body then clears it depending on your genetics, environment, and health. Individual health and surroundings play a vital role in how stress is perceived and tolerated.
The outcome of chronic stress manifests into accelerated ageing, migraine headaches, heart diseases, anxiety, binge eating, depression and digestive disorders that impact your body and mind.
Fortunately, dealing with stress effectively is a skill that anyone can learn with a little practice and mindful effort once you acknowledge the root causes of your tensions. What better time than now to get the ball rolling and demystify your worries?
It first starts with befriending the idea of moderate stress instead of fearing it. This helps shift your perspective instead of focusing on the situation, thoughts or the external environment.
What should we do with stress?
Learn to spend more time in your own natural well–being and acceptance state. Much like a skilled surfer who looks at every wave as a roller-coaster adventure, a brand new opportunity to discover and embrace the moment without ever judging the wave.
Eventually, you proceed towards accepting your problems with awareness, renewed energy and compassion.
Here’s a treasure map to unravel your most creative and expressive life.
6 Yoga Tips to Overcome Stress
You probably don’t think about your breath that often, do you?
The gentle rise and fall of the breath can stimulate the brain and immediately create a sense of calm tranquillity.
Focused deep breathing from your stomach signals your nervous system to calm down, increasing your attention span and keeping stress levels and anxiety at bay.
Positive affirmations and deep breaths are beautiful ways of internalizing and manifesting optimistic thinking.
The Attitude of Everyday Gratitude & Self Care
If any part of you longs to write, bake, garden, dance, act or create, go ahead and start penning down your wish list and get them off the ground as a part of your daily self-care ritual.
Intentionally add extra servings of all that sparks curiosity and excitement. Go with the flow, do something that stimulates you daily, and commit to it.
Integrate daily practices that nourish the mind, body and soul. This daily journal ritual could slowly translate into a road map of new beginnings.
Did you know that physical activity is a great stress and mood booster?
Treat your workouts as an activity that you enjoy rather than a chore. Explore what works best for you to stimulate your endorphin hormones.
The most important thing is to increase your fitness levels while decreasing stress. Pick a fitness routine that suits your lifestyle, even if it’s as simple as walking, stair climbing or jogging or mix it up.
Exercising helps your brain cope better with stress and ensures your body enjoys a good night’s rest.
Never underestimate the power of meaningful relationships, supportive people & laughter.
Building close connections strengthen your sense of belonging, increases self-confidence and makes you happier.
Nothing stops you from organizing that long-pending zoom call with your inner circle. Get creative; the world is your oyster from organizing a book club meet or celebrating milestones virtually.
There’s no excuse not to be in touch and laugh harder than ever.
Daily Brain Booster for Positive Vibes
An exercise for brain health, meditation has the power to rewire positive traits, diminish fear, stress and negativity and prevent sickness in the long run.
Other benefits include lowered blood pressure and reduced memory loss. The practice of pranayama (yogic breathing), when done for 15-20 minutes at the beginning of the day and before you retire for the night, ensures utmost relaxation.
If you’re new to daily meditation, start with 5 minutes or less and gradually progress.
6. MINDFUL EATING
The Secret Sauce to eating colours of the rainbow
You are what you eat. Work to ease stress with a healthy lifestyle and diet changes to avoid escalating anxiety issues.
Since chronic stress can strip your body of essential vitamins, supplement your body will magnesium and calcium-rich diets.
Foods rich in dark greens help treat stress. Keep alcohol, caffeine and sugar to the bare minimum as these stimulants contribute to increased energy slump and depression.
Introduce farm-fresh seasonal produce and experiment with home-cooked meals in your daily routine.
All said and done, ‘Stress’ is an unavoidable part of life, and while not all stress is bad, too much is unhealthy.
Since there are different types of stress, it’s helpful to know what you might be dealing with at any given time, seek professional help and nip it in the bud.
Finally, work to reduce stress by learning to think differently. Knowing when to let something go will help prevent you from being upset and worrying that you aren’t good enough.
Supervising your thought process is the only part of the battle, but a holistic lifestyle swap is the ultimate game-changer to wholesome living.
Live with abundance and find your jam! After all, life is meant to be lived well.
Let’s raise a toast to celebrate each day in these extraordinary times and inspire our true selves.