Changing our lives and steering it towards prolonged peace and health can be as simple as adopting five daily habits to conquer stress, says Manoj Jain
Medical science explains stress to be our natural physical and mental reaction to life’s experiences. Our body reacts to stress by flooding our systems with hormones, resulting in rapid breathing, sweating, elevated pulse rate, and a myriad of other immediate symptoms. Prolonged exposure to stress, much like the situation we are facing today, can push us towards headaches, heartburn, depression, insomnia, heart trouble, fertility problems, a weakened immune symptom and a whole host of other well-documented adverse effects.
Fear not. Changing our lives and steering it towards prolonged peace and health can be as simple as adopting five daily habits to conquer stress:
Dedicate Some ‘Me’ Time
Whether it’s the first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or even a few stolen moments between errands, it is important to remove a little time solely for ourselves. Put aside your daily chores and find a quiet place to escape demanding family members. Use this time to indulge in any activity that gives you joy and peace. It can be anything from reading the newspaper while savouring a flavourful cup of coffee; flipping though the pages of an exciting book; taking an online class; or even soaking in a warm bath with scented candles and salts.
Put a Smile on Someone’s Face
Nothing that can bring us more joy than the knowledge that we made another person happy. Make it a personal goal to do at least one good deed per day, no matter how small. Give a helping hand to family. Call your friend and check in with what’s happening in their lives. Compliment your colleague. Send your spouse flowers. Donate some clothes or supplies to those in need. A small act of charity on our end can truly brighten up someone else’s life.
Keep Your Body Moving
Physical activity in any form is a tried and tested stress buster. Health professionals recommend getting in at least 20 minutes of exercise three to four times a week. Walk to the stores instead of driving short distances. Take the stairs. Run around the local park. Breathe in as much fresh air as you can. Sign up for online yoga/fitness classes. Just keep your body moving. Regular movement triggers the release of powerful endorphins in our bodies, heightening happiness and reducing stress.
Tune In To Melody
Music has always been a well-known mood changer. So hit play on your favourite playlist and hum along when performing mundane tasks. Keep your radio on while driving or cooking. Sing in the shower, however off-key you may be! Research proves that music reduces anxiety, blood pressure and pain; and improves focus, sleep quality and memory.
Sleep, Breathe, Meditate
Get adequate sleep every night and keep your bedtimes fixed. Upon awakening, breathe deeply, practise Pranayama, and meditate for a short while before hitting breakfast and tackling your daily to-do lists. Starting your morning right sets the tone for a peaceful day to follow.
The writer is the author of book, Meeting Yama