Whenever we are overwhelmed with a situation causing feelings of panic, anxiety, frustration, large doses of cortisol are produced and released to prepare the body for handling the situation. This means we are going through moderate to high levels of stress. As we are all aware, stress wreaks havoc on our mind and body. Doing yoga and meditation certainly helps us alleviate stress and makes us calm and peaceful. However, at the moment of stress, it may not be possible to walk away and do some yoga and meditation. If you are feeling out of control due to stress, try one of these tips :
1) Take deep breaths. Very frequently when going through stress we forget to breathe and this adds more pressure on the mind as our thoughts and our breath are connected. The way we breathe is the way we think. Stress makes our breath shallow and this send signals to the body to prepare for an emergency situation – essentially triggering the “fight or flight” response. Taking deep breaths help calms the mind and bring relaxation.
2) Take a short quick walk. Take deep breaths as you walk. Physical activity can pump up endorphins and other natural neural chemicals that enhance your sense of well-being. Any activity is good to recharge your system and make you feel fresh.
3) Have a nutritious diet. Eating a fresh fruit or soaked nuts (peanuts or almonds) can help bring a chemical change in the system. Instead of reaching out for sugary and/or caffeinated drinks that are nervous stimulants, eating fresh fruits can help calm the nerves and make you feel fresh, recharged and alert without the unnecessary stimulants.
4) Think of a funny situation. When you become aware that you are stressed, think of a real life situation or from a movie or television show that made you laugh. This will help you regain your balance when in stress. Once you have regained your balance, then you can add breathing techniques to further calm down the mind.
5) Have a good social circle. Isolating oneself is a natural response when we are going through stress. Having a good network of friends and colleagues who you can confide in is a great stress reliever. A trusted social circle provides the needed support and help you navigate life’s up and downs. Meeting a friend or a relative for a coffee or lunch will help bring a perspective.
6) Volunteer for a cause: Got more time? Become part of the non-profit charitable organization at your workplace or in your community. It provides the much needed break from the stressful situation. Helping others in need also brings a fulfillment and joy in your life.
The next time, you feel out of sorts, take a quick check of your system. Getting into the habit of listening to your body for cues of stress helps you deal with it in a much better way using the above techniques or any others that have worked for you. Be your own stress busting hero!
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