Feeling rundown, drained and moody for no apparent reason? You’d better check your stress levels. One of the worst health hazards inextricably connected to the fast-paced modern lifestyle, stress can cause serious psychological and physical conditions unless remedied efficiently and on time.
Overworking or being jobless, financial problems, hazy interpersonal relations and excessive expectations and pressures from the world around us all contribute to increased stress which can lead to a number of diseases (e.g. high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, chest pains and heart disease) and negatively impact your overall well-being. That’s why finding time to recharge your batteries and unwind is extremely important.
Here, we bring you several convenient tips on how to deal with stress successfully and efficiently, so keep reading if you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked for you so far.
Learning new tricks
One of the best ways to enrich your life and channel your energy constructively, creative hobbies have proven as highly efficient in stress treatment. Leisure activities like knitting, writing, photography, drawing and gardening help redirect flow of energy from pointless brooding over stressful situations and enhance focus, so if you want to use your energy and resources to your peace of mind’s advantage, try learning a new skill or two – you may be surprised by the results.
Meditate your way to Zen
Another useful technique in treating chronic stress, meditation and yoga can do wonders for both your mind and the body. Highly effective in combating anxiety and negative feelings triggered by stress, meditation helps turn your focus from the external to the internal, i.e. from a chaos of impressions to the inner sense of imperturbable peace. If you find yourself distracted due to lack of activity during meditation, try silently reciting a mantra or an affirmative thought to yourself and focus on your body, flow of breath and sensations in your limbs, torso and facial muscles.
Get a move on
It’s a well-known fact that lack of physical activity can considerably contribute to overall feeling of lethargy, inertia and depression. Even though you may be feeling completely drained of energy, getting up from the couch and heading out for a walk or bike ride will help your energy flow more freely – and it’s also good for your body, as your tense muscles will get some action and release pent-up pressure though motion. For best results in countering high stress, work out regularly and make exercises a daily routine: on top of relieving stress, regular gym or workout sessions will build muscle tissue and strengthen the structure of your bones, so you’ll be getting two boons in one practical package.
Though you’re probably not aware of it, human breath tends to change and become disrupted, short and irregular when our minds are exposed to increased stress. To help restore focus and minimize waste of energy through anxiety and tension, set aside 5-10 minutes to breathe deeply in between activities. A practice used in Taoism and Yoga, Ujjayi breathing is a technique which can considerably improve your focus, posture and capacity to handle stressful situations, so try it out next time you face yourself stressing over an interpersonal conflict, tight task deadlines or similar unpleasant situation.
Take time off work
In severe cases of prolonged periods of increased stress, it would be wise to head to a health retreat or spa for some quality ‘Me’ time. If possible, take time off work and book a weekend in a health-promoting centre where your body and mind will be completely free of stress and your energy would replenish. Massage, hot spa and similar services available in most stress-relieving retreats will help you relax, let go of accumulated tension and eliminate stress from your immediate environment at least for a while, until you’re better-equipped for re-encountering them with reloaded energy and greater clarity of mind.