According to Osho, a normal human spends most of the time worrying about what is beyond his
or her control. Surprisingly, studies have shown that people who believe that stress is harmful to
your health have an increased risk of death. On the other hand, people who view stress as ‘not
harmful’ have lower risks of dying, even if they experience a lot of stress.
So, first thing first, we need to change our attitude towards stress.
Let’s start with a basic attitude: stress can be your friend.
These times are also no different. We can try to be prepared for nature’s shocks. Whenever natural calamities happen, no one ever gets any time to prepare. However, if we are conscious of how we need to manage our personal hygiene, our beliefs, in the event of an untoward incident, we would be able to steer our way through.
All thoughts, all feelings originate in our brain. If we condition our brain everyday with a variety of feelings, you would curate your own individual way of managing the additional pressure.
How about we change our narrative around the lockdown?
One narrative of being in a lockdown can be negative, full of self-loathe, irritation and also quite smelly. You could be saying things like, ‘This is the worst time of my life, I cannot do anything!’ Having negative thoughts can lead you to underperform at work and be unsatisfied and unhappy in other areas of life. By this time, we know that thoughts lead to actions.
So, you could change your narrative around this lockdown. You could be thinking..
Consider the case of Mr. X, a senior executive with a luxury brand, who adopted this theory of treating the five senses at all times:
The simplest way I have followed is to treat my five senses. Even under the lockdown, which was unheard, unimaginable, unthinkable for me could not stop me from treating myself. I have treated my eyes to red, orange and yellow of the morning sun against the blue canvas of the skies and the different shades of green in the pots in my balcony. I have smelled and breathed the morning breeze that remained unpolluted during these few days, I have enjoyed the singing of the birds in dawn and at dusk.
And during the day I have enjoyed Bocelli, BeeGees, Springstine, Bryan Adams, Linkin Park to Imagine Dragons and not to forget the soul searching Sufi music and at times the vibrations of a singing bowl. I have turned my kitchen to a taste lab and have beaten the menu of tea that the leading tea vending brands or cafés could offer. I have cuddled my college going kids as if they were still toddlers in my arm and have woken up my wife with a morning kiss and a warm cup of tea.
I made myself live the space which came unplanned, I lived my peace and tried to stay away from electronics as much as possible, lest I fall prey to the fear that was served by everyone, as if all of them knew everything about what was wrong and who was doing it. Your peace my friend, is in your domain.
While doing all of the above, if you still feel the pulse on your temples, if you still get that sinking feeling, if you still get the burst of anger and remain irritated, exhausted, restless, then you should know that this is not the healthy stress but the unhealthy one, which if not managed with the help of a qualified psychologist will lead to further complications and may manifest in any form, such as a heart condition, diabetes, stroke or migraine.
Let us show you 10 steps to Beat Stress..
Stay Active: Put your body to work
When you exercise, you help your heart to pump up the blood to every bit of your body; your lungs take in that extra bit of air and with it, they add a little more oxygen to your bloodstream. Exercising activates the release of endorphins, the chemicals that influence a good mood and reduce cortisol, the stress-causing hormones.
is also important for overall wellbeing as it helps the body to relax and rejuvenate. When you exercise, you tire out your body which would automatically get you to sleep well.
With a daily exercise routine, your body remains in an active mode, and you find yourself more capable and confident in managing your work schedule.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink
When under stress, people generally consume large quantities of coffee or tea, which is not good for their health. Rather, fresh fruits, salad and cold press juices or simple masala lemonade would help your body flush out the harmful toxins from your system.
Try out scented candles or diffusers in citrus, vetiver, lavender, tea tree or a fragrance of your choice. The right kind of fragrance would help stimulate your mood and neutralise the ill effects of stress and anxiety.
We may not have an artist in us to blend the colours on a canvas or sketch the dark and light shades with carbon. However, anyone can try their hand on calligraphy or writing some text from a book or maybe just their own name in different styles. Those few minutes that you would spend time on calligraphy, painting or any other form of art would give a bit of breather to your mind and body to come out of the stressful routine.
Go back in happy times
Remember the first few days of your marriage? The week, the month and all the festivities that you celebrated as a couple? Try revisiting. Try living those moments again with your spouse.
Remember the day when your kid/s were born. Remember how you hugged them and kissed them. Try doing that. We are humans, and we never stop appreciating the physical expression of love and affection.
If you aren’t married yet, or if these memories don’t come in your ‘happy times’, think back about those memories that make you all happy inside.
Laugh your heart out
Laughter is an important stress buster. I am sure you would have had instances when things were really serious, and you saw something really funny, and you couldn’t stop laughing.
Laughing activates your lungs and heart and neutralizes stress and anxiety. You may pick and watch your favourite comedy shows/stars or the best comedy movies of all times.
Yoga and Pranayaam / Breathing Exercises
Yoga practices are helpful in giving you time with yourself.
It puts you in a meditative mode which gives your mind the relaxation that it requires. Deep breathing exercises activate the parasympathetic nervous system that calms down and relaxes your entire body.
Pets and Plants
Pets and Plants can help you deal with stress and anxiety to quite an extent. The sense of touch and interaction triggers the release of oxytocin, a chemical that acts as a mood enhancer in the human body. Cuddle with your pets and let them sniff the stress away from you.
Care for Others
Studies have shown that if you care for others, it can be very beneficial to you. In other words, those who spend time caring for others have a decreased risk of death that can be correlated with stress. So, caring for others can not only be helpful to them, but it is indeed beneficial to your system as well, it makes you resilient. Who knew caring for another could be a little selfish!
Nothing is permanent. Don’t stress yourself too much because no matter how bad the situation is … It will change. This too shall pass