Stress has a notorious capacity to build up and spill over into our lives even when we’re not paying attention. One late night a week, your child throwing a tantrum, an unruly situation, a high-pressure project, a demanding boss, a critical remark or comment and it all adds up.
Then it manifests into physical and emotional distress – unmanaged expectations, dysfunctional relationships, unfulfilled living, anger and disappointment, anxiety and depression.
Like a clogged drain, it is hard to detect unless something goes very wrong and putrid water fills up and floods our house. And like a clogged drain, we want to get it sorted as soon as possible!
Stress is fairly common in our lives and there is no way to avoid at least some of it. Some of us are born with a natural resilience and some of us are more tolerant to certain stressors. But on average, each one of us faces stress to a great extent, given our lifestyle, choices and circumstances.
So, it is about how stress can be managed better and reduced as far as possible. Managing stress is the only way to avoid a total break-down of the system and a state of crisis.
In this week’s blog post I give you 5 ways to manage stress and gently flush it out of your system. Practising these activities regularly will help you cope and recharge, and handle stress. Over time your resilience will increase and you will face fewer and fewer obstacles on your pathway to stress-free, happy and healthy living.
1. Meditation and mindfulness
Through meditation and mindfulness, you are driving out the chaos and uncertainty in your lives.
Meditation fortifies your mind even as you face stress. You feel less challenged. There is greater stability as you calm down and think clearly.
Practising mindfulness has its own rewards. You don’t take things for granted and make conscious decisions. This way you tend to make fewer mistakes.
2. Listen to music
Music is a great healer and it can significantly reduce stress. Listen to peppy tunes or soulful numbers.
Try listening to music in your spare time or while you are working on a routine chore. Music can lighten the mood, make you de-stress and calm. It can soften your emotional state and make you feel less rigid. It can help you unwind after a particularly tough day.
3. Talk to a friend
Talking things over with a friend or confidante can have a really positive impact on your mind.
Get into the habit of sharing. Stress builds up when you keep your heart closed. Sharing and opening up can help you vent clogged emotions.
Have a laugh. Take in constructive comments. And invest your emotions. There is far greater to be gained this way.
4. Sleep better
Getting complete and restful sleep is a must to revitalize your body, soul and mind.
Relax and wind down before you sleep. Switch off your devices and keep away from distractions. Don’t drink tea or coffee 2 hours before going to bed. Create a nightly routine that helps you prepare for sleep.
Exercising can help you get sound sleep. Engage in physical activity – a brisk walk, gardening and working on chores around the house.
5. Finish something
Pick up on an incomplete task that is long-pending and finish it.
Completing unfinished projects can motivate you and drive positive feelings. Sometimes these tasks take up mind-space and bog you down with negativity. Clearing them up helps you unclutter your mind and reduce stress this way.
These are just 5 ways, but there are limitless ways in which you can find your own de-stressing mantra. It could be as simple as taking a calming bath or something as big as taking an unplanned trip to Bali. Whatever you do, find peace and happiness doing it and you will reap its benefits manifold.