Caught up with work, life and traffic this week? It’s time to let go and unwind over the weekend.
Stress is a silent killer that claims many lives each year. Whether through cardiac issues, mental instabilities, or projections of unhappiness into one’s relationships, stress is not a weak enemy to conquer. And conquer we must. Today we’ve lined up our top five tips for combating stress. So, take off those work shoes, release the tension in your shoulders and neck, and settle down to read some de-stressing news.
Take a mental vacation
Who wouldn’t mind a relaxing vacation on a beach, away from life’s daily stresses from work, socialising and technology. The constant battle for ‘me’ time leaves most of us frustrated and exhausted week after working and socialising week. Whether it’s constant connectivity to social media, your Blackberry, or endless computing work at a work station, we think it’s time you took a mental vacation for a day – right where you are – in your city, even in your own home.
Meditation through visualization
Life Coach Malti Bhojwani takes us through the technique of visualization and how it can help us meditate effectively, and in a way that we can affect positive change in our lives.
Meditation has many connotations and some of them may trigger different reactions from all of us. When I was younger, I thought it was the most boring thing anyone could indulge in and I conjured up an image of bearded yogis up in the Himalayas who starved and smelled. Today however, thanks to the holistic awareness, movements towards personal development and the amalgamation of Eastern and Western thoughts becoming more and more popular, meditation has taken on a more marketable name.
I meditate and in my personal experience, I call it ‘plugging-in’ In fact as I am working on my book, there is an entire chapter dedicated solely to “plugging into the Universe”.
Visualization to me is constant, I think with images in my mind. If I asked you now, whatever you do, do not think of a blue ball, what happens? Exactly, you conjure up an image of a blue ball and I might even guess that it showed in the top right hand corner of your “internal screen”. The premise is that you can’t visualize nothing, and what you visualize, you are giving power to, so if you “see” pictures of what you don’t want, guess what? You will end up attracting what you don’t want. We cannot bring into our world what we have not been able to at least imagine first.
Stressed due to exams? Try these foods
Oranges: Studies suggest that when a child is under too much pressure his/her vitamin C levels tend to dip, thus making him/her more vulnerable to illnesses. So, incorporate oranges in their diet.
Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of iron and calcium along with vitamin A. Iron in spinach helps in developing a strong immunity and helps in developing social and cognitive development during childhood as it aids in the formation of haemoglobin and essential enzymes. Calcium, on the other hand, helps in the formation of strong bones and vitamin A is beneficial in reducing eye strain to a great extent.
Water: Water aids digestion and helps avoid conditions related to stressed kidneys and constipation. It helps regulate and maintain body temperature. Water also aids several other functions within the human body that relate to energy, wakefullness and performance.
Milk: Ideally, around 600 milligrams of calcium daily is a must for school going children. Calcium is important for physical development in children, and helps build immunity as well.
Protein: Whether through eggs, dairy or meat, adequate quantities of protein is a must for a child’s growth. An appropriate supply of protein leads to muscle boosts and helps your child remain physically alert, active and fit.
How to reduce stress in daily life
Tips to control stress: In order to lead a healthy and stress-free life, it is vital to follow certain guidelines or steps. They will help you get a better control over life and alter the way you view stress or its trigger factors.
Regular exercise: Not surprisingly, exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. A regular 20-30 minutes of physical activity every day is vital to decrease stress hormones like cortisol and increase your body’s feel good chemicals called endorphins. Besides this, certain forms of exercise like martial arts or boxing can act as an outlet for releasing all your vent-up emotions and frustrations.
Relaxation techniques: This not only involves taking time to relax everyday but also employing certain basic relaxation techniques. This involves deep breathing techniques, meditation and practicing different yoga postures to relax your body muscles.
Balanced diet: What you put inside your body also determines your ability to cope with stress or anxiety. A balanced diet comprising fresh fruits and vegetables is a must to reverse the negative impacts of stress and lead a healthy life.
Avoid stressful situations: As far as possible, ensure that you avoid unnecessary arguments, conflicts or any other stressful situation. Try to keep yourself calm in every way and avoid indulging in unnecessary situations.
Sleep: Finally, a regular 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is also important to relax your mind and body. If you face any difficulty in sleep, you can also make use of relaxation techniques like listening to music or reading a book.
Beat stress with these yoga poses
Corpse Pose or Shavasan: Lie flat on the back with legs together and (palms facing up) arms close to the body. Relax your body and mind with this pose.
Half-moon Pose or Ardhachandra-asana: This pose benefits the lower back, abdomen and chest by stretching and balancing the body. Start with your feet together and arms by the side. Bring both the hands at the chest with palms lightly pressed against each other. Breathe-in while raising the arms straight up keeping palms pressed lightly together. Arch your body backwards while keeping the arms alongside your neck and head.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana: The Adho Mukha Svanasana helps to cure backaches, relieve stress and mild depression and revitalizes energy.
Forward Bend Pose or Padahastasana: Stand straight with arms by your side, exhale and bend touching the floor with your hand. This pose helps in stretching the hamstring of the legs and helps spine and internal organs.
Straight Angle Pose or Samakonasana: Start the asana with sitting on the ground and stretch the legs forward. Keep you legs straight and be rested on the ground. Now, slowly stretch your legs sideways so that it should form a straight line and keep the body straight. Stay in this posture for a few seconds and then slowly bring back the legs to the normal position.