We live in a stress landmine, where every now and then we find ourselves anxious and panicking for reasons, both professional and personal. Not to mention, the covid-19 induced lockdown measures have further aggravated the situation, thereby compelling a number of us to think about adverse scenarios, coupled with the looming sense of isolation.
While some degree of stress is normal and perhaps even important, the issue arises when our response to various pain points in our life becomes exaggerated or takes shape as the focal point of our attention.
And so, a routine-based approach towards daily living is perhaps the need of the hour, as it will help to resolve the patterns that detract from your well-being by building new patterns that contribute to your mental and physical health.
So, relax, take a deep breath and look around you. The world is not after you and not everything rests on your shoulders. While there are various ways to achieve a calmer state of mind, we bring to you five habits that you can adopt to cope with stress better and calm yourself down.
Harvard Health Publishing mentions, “Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.”
The beauty of exercise is its contribution to the alteration of behavioural factors coupled with a sense of routine. As and when the physical transformation of the body will happen, the level of emotional well-being will also increase due to improved self-image and confidence.
Meditation teaches its practitioners to focus on the present moment, breath by breath. It is described as a means of noticing what resides in each moment, be it easy, difficult, painful or joyful. Meditation has been known to help individuals sleep better, cope with few symptoms associated with mental disorders like depression and anxiety, reduce psychological difficulties associated with chronic pain, and even improve cognitive and behavioural functions.
3. Take a hike
As per Harvard Health Publishing, taking a mindful walk is a great way of both exercising and relaxing at the same time as when you move and breathe rhythmically, you get a chance to be aware of the sensations of your body. Walking will help expand your awareness of the sights and smells around you and a slow, mindful walk will help you get centred and relax.
Yoga encompasses spiritual and physical practices that integrate body, mind and spirit towards a state of oneness with our surroundings. What is special about this practice is that it can be taken up regardless of one’s age or weight-and with minimal precautions with regards to limitations imposed by medical history. Yoga has for centuries, has helped its disciples to achieve flexibility, strength, stamina and mobility and keeping the mind relaxed and focused.
5. Colour between the lines
As per research published by Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, colouring a complex geometric design, like a mandala, creates a meditative state that is beneficial for reducing anxiety. Colouring is calming, as when we colour we have to use both the logical left hemisphere (motor skills and attention) of our brain and the creative right hemisphere (colour, shape, imagery and emotion). There is also a nostalgic appeal to this activity as it helps bring back memories of freely colouring as a child and provides a creative outlet to break rigid routines.
A little change can go a long way to keep yourself calm under all circumstances.