If you frequently find yourself feeling baffled and overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance.
You can help yourself by learning how to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress, and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations – whether they’re real or perceived.
Stress affects us in many ways. Psychiatrist, Dr Deepti Kukreja from Nanavati Hopsital, Mumbai says “You may notice symptoms of stress when disciplining your kids, during busy times at work, when dealing with mountains of bills, or when coping with a challenging relationship. While a little stress is okay, too much stress can wear you down and make you sick, both mentally and physically. It can affect the functioning of our daily life as well.”
DIET TO MANAGE STRESS
It is a common saying ‘Eat good, feel good’. There are many strategies to manage and reduce stress, and one of them includes what you eat, your diet. Delhi-based dietician, Kavita Devgan recommends a few foods that need to be in your plate when you’re dealing with stress.
– Comfort foods
A bowl of warm oatmeal, boosts level of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure.
Give your taste buds a treat by mixing 1 cup of lightly dried and roasted oats with 3/4 cups of water, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp of oil, a pinch of salt and a fistful of peanuts.
This nutrient produces feel-good chemical. It’s best to eat complex carbs, which take longer to digest and can also help you feel balanced by stabilizing blood sugar levels. For pasta lovers it’s an amazing choice.
– Citrus Fruits
Oranges are a storehouse vitamin C. The lovely smell that the fruit has, itself is so refreshing, that your stomach already feels half full. Studies suggest this vitamin can curb levels of stress hormones while strengthening the immune system. A glass of orange juice after a workout can give the most satisfying feeling ever.
Cashews are a good source of zinc. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it’s important to get some every day. Treat yourself with a healthy snack sprinkled with the goodness cashews from time to time.
– Dark chocolate
Chocolate has an undeniable link with mood. Dark chocolate, in particular, is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calmness. It contains more polyphenols and flavonols – two important types of antioxidants. You can safely indulge in this sweet treat.
PRANIC HEALING FOR STRESS
This therapy is not just a healing modality but a way of life that utilises prana or energy to balance, harmonise and transform the body’s energy processes. It is a simple yet powerful and effective system of no-touch energy healing. It is based on the fundamental principles that the body is a self-repairing and self-healing living entity that has the ability to heal itself.
Stress is something that can indicate its presence in various ways. Many bodily ailments are an outcome of stress. The reason Pranic Healing works on the energy body is that physical ailments first appear as energetic disruptions in the aura before manifesting as problems in the physical body.
Mumbai-based pranic healer, Ipomea Chaudhary, tells us, “Both breathing exercises and meditation help in healing stress. One of the most effective methods is the Twin Heart Meditation. This meditation works on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels to open the heart chakra (the emotional heart) and the crown chakra (the spiritual heart), thereby enabling you to draw a great amount of divine energy into the crown. The prana that this meditation produces greatly promotes physical and mental health as well as inner illumination.”
The number of sessions required for a person may differ from person to person, but on an average 6 sessions bring down the symptoms.
BACH FLOWER REMEDY
This therapy is something that I’ve been using for stress for quite some time now and it has helped to deal with my problem to a great extent. It is a natural form of medicine that treats emotional and mental health.
Bach Flower and Aromatherapist, Jhelum Biswas Bose tells, “There are different reasons that may cause stress, which require different remedies.” Following are the medicines that she recommends:
– Rescue Remedy for demanding and stressful situations
– Cherry Plum for nervous breakdowns
– Mimulus for fear of known causes, such as loss of a friend, exams, interviews, public speaking, etc
She adds, “Rescue remedy can be taken during crisis situations. Add 4 drops to your drink and sip it. It is an excellent remedy whenever you feel uptight or unduly bothered.”
When we are in a constant state of stress, our mind and body are tensed and our sympathetic nervous system is heightened. Yogi Arjun Goswami, Srima International School of Transformational Yoga India, suggests specific yoga poses that can induce the relaxation in the body.
1. Balasana (Child Pose):
This helps you to relax completely, like a child. In this pose, you curl up like a foetus.
– Sit on your knees with your palms facing the floor on either side of the body.
– As you inhale, start bending your upper body forward in such a way that only the forehead touches the floor.
– Stay in the position for a minimum of 30 seconds, while breathing normally. The longer you stay, the more relaxed you will feel.
– Slowly lift your forehead and stretch your body back to Vajrasana (Diamond pose).
– Repeat thrice.
2. Anulom Vilom Pranayama
It induces calmness of mind by regulating the flow of prana in the body. The whole body is nourished with an extra supply of pure oxygen, and the carbon dioxide is more efficiently eliminated. This pranayama purifies the entire blood system and is helpful to increase the overall health of the body.
– Sit in a Padmasana position, close the eyes and settle down.
– With the right thumb close the right nostril.
– Inhale slowly through the left nostril until the maximum capacity.
– Hold your breath (Not for beginners, hypertension and asthma people).
– With the right hand’s middle and ring fingers close the left nostril.
– Release the right thumb and exhale slowly.
– Now inhale through right nostril.
– Hold the breath.
– Exhale through left nostril.
– Repeat this for 5 minutes.
Meditation has proven extremely beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, improving concentration and creativity besides bringing relief from stress-induced ailments.
Sometimes the smallest things in life give us immense pleasure…..
Although this might differ from person to person, but believe it or not the most random and tiny things can make you forget your stress. For some it maybe going for a run while for others watching their favourite shows, a bowl of ice cream or even maggi can do the trick for many. Talking with a friend, playing with your pet and even painting your nails! All these things are equally helpful.
So keep calm and see which of the above works for you.