Flutter Into the Butterfly Pose for These 5 Fantastic Benefits

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice of bringing together the body, mind, and spirit towards a state of wellness. Yoga has helped its disciples to improve and maintain the health of their muscles, joints, and is great for flexibility, strength, and mental health.

The best part about yoga is that you can do different poses to reap benefits for specific parts of your body. So, if you are looking to relieve yourself from neck and back pain, and improve blood circulation, the butterfly pose is what you should try.

What is the butterfly pose and how do we do it?

This asana goes by many names, such as ‘titli asana’ and ‘Baddha Konasana’. This posture makes you tuck both the feet close to the pelvis area, with hands clasped tightly together. The highlight of this asana is how the legs give the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings.

Here’s how to do the butterfly pose

Step 1: Sit on the floor on a mat or a well-cushioned area. Start by straightening your spine with legs stretched out.

Step 2: Now, bend both the knees to resemble a winged butterfly. Then, bring your feet towards your pelvis area, as close as you can and join them together, clasping your hands.

Step 3: Slowly breathe in and out, while pressing your thighs and knees downward towards the mat. Taking a cue from this position, start flapping both the legs up and down, like the wings of a butterfly.

Step 4: Remember to keep your spine straight while performing the pose and stretch your legs out to come back to the starting point.

Benefits of doing the butterfly pose

From improving flexibility to reducing back pain, this pose provides a variety of benefits:

1. Reduces back pain

This pose helps people dealing with back pain issues, as it stretches and engages the lower back muscles without adding extra pressure on the hamstrings. As the pose requires placement of the heels close to the pelvis area, the lower back gets adequately lengthened and the back muscles are relieved of stress and pressure.

2. Lowers stress levels and helps with headaches

Butterfly pose releases tension from the neck, back and head and this helps reduce the severity of headaches as oxygen reaches the brain more easily. Also, regular breathing while performing the asana is a great way to release anxiety and tranquillity.

3. Strengthens inner thigh area

As legs have to be placed close to the inner thigh area, the muscles, joints, and connective tissues get engaged and strengthened as a result of prolonged holding of this posture.

4. Improves reproductive health

The butterfly pose improves the functioning of the ovaries as it helps increase blood circulation to the reproductive system. This further boosts fertility levels as the overall health of the reproductive system improve due to more blood and oxygen reaching it.

5. Helps with fatigue

The improved blood circulation as a result of practicing this pose will help reduce fatigue and lethargy. People who stand or walk for long hours will especially benefit from this pose as it will enhance their energy levels.

So, try this pose for improving your physical and mental wellbeing!

A Psychologist Explains How Negative Health News Can Affect Your Mind

From our phones to our television, the past few months have been all about health-related news. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus in India, we’ve also paid more attention to health news in order to understand the novel virus and how to prevent infection. Unfortunately, this means that most of us have been exposed to negative health news on a constant basis. Keeping ourselves up-to-date by following the news has given us a greater understanding of Coronavirus but at the same time, negative health news has also affected our mental health.

We spoke to Kamna Chhibber, Head of Department, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram to understand the mental health effects of constant exposure to negative health news and how to deal with it.

Mental health effects of negative health news

According to Kamna, there are three prime ways in which negative health news can affect our mental health:

1. Worrying about future plans

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has added to stress levels, especially due to its unpredictable nature. Kamna Chhibber said, “Everyone makes plans. We all have a certain vision for our future, be it personal or professional. Unfortunately, the majority of people have either put a pause or have had to change their life plans. Listening to the news about new variants which might be more dangerous or predictions of multiple Coronavirus waves only enhances this sense of worry. It can make one feel dejected and disappointed.”

2. Feelings of helplessness and restlessness

Most of the news we’ve heard about the Covid-19 pandemic has not been too optimistic, be it new variants or the number of rising cases. According to Kamna, “Health news about the pandemic often adds to feelings of helplessness. People are already suffering from restlessness due to not knowing when this will come to an end. When they surround themselves with negative health news, they might start to worry about multiple things like whether they’re doing enough to protect themselves or what will happen if they don’t have access to healthcare facilities. It might make one lose any amount of optimism and motivation.”

3. Isolation and loneliness

With each news update, it becomes clear that it is still best to follow the social distancing protocol to prevent infection. This is, however, exacerbating feelings of loneliness and isolation. Initially, people were enthusiastic about video calls and social media updates. But, this trend has definitely seen a dip and many people have also experienced a narrowing of their social circle. Kamna said, “It is important to observe social distancing but many people are reporting that not being able to meet friends and family is weighing down their emotional health. Measures like work-from-home have also caused a disruption of a normal routine.”

How to deal with it

Kamna Chhibber explained that these 3 things can be done to mitigate the mental health effects of negative health news:

1. Mental breaks

It is extremely important to take a break, according to K. She recommends disconnecting from social media and work for a certain amount of time each day to prevent burnout and negativity. Be it 10 minutes or one whole hour, make sure you’re indulging in leisure activities like watching television or going for a jog.

2. Pay attention to the good

There’s been no dearth of health news that can send one into a panic but when negativity surrounds us, we need to remember the good things that have happened. From witnessing strangers helping strangers find a job to having the opportunity to spend more time with family due to working from home, we need to hold on to hope and optimism. Kamna suggests feeling gratitude towards the small joys of life. This will provide a boost to your mood!

3. Taking responsibility and observing precautions

Whenever you feel mentally low, it is important to realize that you can take an active part in reducing infections simply by observing precautions. So, ensure that you’re wearing your mask and washing your hands regularly. It will give you mental peace knowing that you are doing everything to protect yourself and your loved ones from the pandemic.

It might not be possible to completely turn away from health-related news in these times but you can deal with it using these simple tips recommended by Kamna.

Add These 5 Foods to Your Diet to Keep Your Haemoglobin Level in Check

A healthy blood cell count is critical to your overall wellbeing and health. In particular, the red blood cell count signifies if your body is receiving adequate amounts of oxygen, to be able to function properly.

Haemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen across the body. This protein also carries carbon dioxide out of the cells and into the lungs, facilitating it to be released when a person exhales. A low haemoglobin level can deter your body from performing these critical functions, making you experience symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache or poor appetite.

If you experience any such symptoms, then consulting a doctor is the correct approach. However, you could increase your iron, and vitamin B12 intake through certain foods as it would enhance your haemoglobin levels.

Here are foods that can help increase your haemoglobin count

These foods will boost the iron, folate and vitamin B12 content in your body and help increase your red blood cell count:

1. Spinach

Low on calories and high on nutrition, spinach is the superfood you should include in your diet. Spinach is rich in iron, and vitamin C, an agent that boosts iron absorption. This leafy vegetable contains antioxidants that improve overall health by decreasing inflammation and increasing immunity levels.

2. Seeds

Seeds such as flax, pumpkin and chia contain adequate amounts of magnesium, iron, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and can help you fight high cholesterol. Seeds can also protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolic processes.

3. Broccoli

A power food, as it is often cited, broccoli packs a solid nutritional punch. It contains iron and vitamin C helps your body absorb iron better. This wondrous vegetable is also rich in fibre, protein, calcium, selenium and magnesium, therefore, be it fighting anaemia, building muscles or strengthening bones, broccoli is the undisputed wholesome goodness champion.

4. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants, magnesium and iron and supports in lowering inflammation, “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This nutritious and delicious treat is also helpful in reducing the risk factors for heart disease.

5. Eggs

Besides being rich in proteins, eggs contain essential nutrients and minerals such as vitamin D, folate, amino acids, vitamin B12 and iron. This nutrition profile helps enhance muscular and bone strength, increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known commonly as “good cholesterol” and reduce the risk of heart disease.

So, be vigilant of any signs of low haemoglobin levels, and add these foods to your diet to enhance your blood count.

Dealing With Migraines? Adopt These 6 Lifestyle Changes to Manage Your Pain

Migraines can be extremely debilitating, and wreak havoc on your life. It’s hard to predict the cause behind it. There’s a large population that’s suffering from migraine issues, and the triggers are many. For the uninitiated, migraines typically involve moderate or severe pain, usually on one side of the head. In fact, sometimes it is accompanied by sickness and intolerance to sound and light or both.

If you’re looking for easy ways to manage your migraine, certain lifestyle hacks can ease the pain or stop headaches, before they even start. Your lifestyle has a lot to do with your health.

Here are six things you can do to prevent or at least reduce the frequency of migraines:

1. Focus on establishing a healthy sleep routine

Do you sleep properly? A healthy sleeping routine must include a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep to restore the brain. Sleep helps to keep your immune system strong, ward off anxiety and depression, and promote deep relaxation. And when you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll not only attract migraines but various other health issues.

2. Eat regular meals

Do you usually skip your meals? If yes, you shouldn’t do that, even if you’re on a weight-loss diet! Skipping meals and fasting are both common migraine triggers. We do know that long periods of fasting can cause a headache. It is because your body is deprived of essential nutrients that are needed for optimal function.

3. Meditate to keep stress away

Always stressed? Make sure to do something to prevent it, as it can be a major reason behind your regular migraines. To manage stress, try yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises because they can relieve your stress and help you avoid a migraine. Also, try not to get involved in stressful activities, including work.

4. Say no to alcohol and smoking

For some people, alcohol is a major trigger for migraines. After all, they can cause hangovers. And not just alcohol, but smoking as well. Excessive alcohol intake and smoking can affect your body from the inside, making it weak. Therefore, it can also increase headaches and other symptoms.

5. Limit spending too much time on gadgets

Long hours looking at television, computers, tablets, cell phones and video games each lead to exhaustion, lack of circulation in the body, and eye strain. This can result in headaches. Therefore, limit the time of exposure to these gadgets.

6. Regulate caffeine intake

If you’re experiencing migraines on a daily basis, limit the consumption of caffeine to one cup a day. Although it helps many people to soothe headaches, if your intake is high, you may need to cut back a little bit at a time.

You must try these lifestyle changes to manage your migraine.

Nightmares Keeping You Up at Night? This Could Be the Reason Why

Have you ever woken up during the wee hours of the night, sweating and panicking? If so, you’ve experienced nightmares. As the name suggests, these are dreams that are scary or distributed. While it’s true that nightmares are more common among children, one out of every two adults has reported having occasional nightmares. The unsettling dreams are usually associated with feelings of anxiety or fear that awaken you from your sleep.

Almost everyone has nightmares from time to time. But the factors contributing to the condition differ. They can range from daily life stressors to traumatic experiences. If you’re experiencing nightmares more than once or twice weekly, that means you might have a nightmare disorder.

Here are some of the key reasons that contribute to chronic nightmares:

1. Stress, anxiety, or depression: Nightmares can be triggered by certain mental health issues, such as stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety come from everyday things, which can contribute to sadness, tension, or worries. People with chronic stress are more likely to develop nightmare disorders.

2. Certain drugs and medication: Nightmares can be the result of a reaction to certain medications. Some drugs including blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and Alzheimer’s disease drugs can trigger nightmares.

3. Traumatic experiences: Nightmares are common after an incident, injury, physical or sexual abuse, or other traumatic events. It can also be a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It can also lead to insomnia. When nightmares are caused by PTSD, it’s important to seek professional treatment.

4. Horror shows: Watching scary movies or shows, especially before bed, or reading horror stories can cause you to have bad dreams. Suspense shows or scary media can also cause stress and anxiety for some people.

5. Eating before bed: Eat nothing before going to bed. Eating increases brain activity and raises the body’s metabolism, which can cause nightmares and dreams.

6. Sleep deprivation: Having sleep disorders can interfere with adequate sleep. Thus, it can be associated with having nightmares.

One thing you need to understand here is that nightmares aren’t the same as sleepwalking, which causes a person to walk around and sometimes talk during sleep. In fact, nightmares differ from night terrors, also known as sleep terrors. Therefore, the treatment of these problems will differ from each other.

Here are the ways to treat chronic nightmares

1. Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, it is a way to address mental health disorders and sleep problems. There are numerous types of talk therapies such as image rehearsal therapy, lucid dreaming therapy, hypnosis, or progressive deep muscle relaxation. These therapies can significantly improve your condition.

2. Treatment of mental health conditions: It’s important to identify the cause behind nightmares. Treating stress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD can help to resolve the thoughts and feelings that may be causing nightmares.

3. Establish a sleep routine: Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is the key to staving off nightmares. Also, treating sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome can improve sleep, thus alleviating bad dreams.

4. Practicing meditation: Stress can be reduced by practicing yoga and meditation. These relaxing techniques include breathing exercises, which may help to get rid of nightmare symptoms.

5. Review your medications: If your nightmares are the result of particular medications, your doctor can help by changing your dosage or prescription to eliminate these unwanted side effects.

6. Talk or write it out: Talking about your dreams and writing down your worries to get them all out of your mind can be healthy to solve the problem of nightmares and stress in general.

7. Avoid watching scary content: This might seem obvious but watching a frightening movie or reading a scary book can lead to nightmares. So, consider avoiding these types of content.

If you feel that you are experiencing recurring nightmares, reach out to a doctor or mental health professionals.

Here’s Why Your Body Needs Magnesium, and 5 Food Sources to Boost Your Daily Intake

You probably already know that vitamins are very important for our health but most of us don’t end up giving the same attention to our mineral intake. Minerals play an extremely important role in maintaining our health and magnesium is one of them.

Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in multiple key biochemical processes of our body that facilitates energy creation, nerve function, protein formation, gene maintenance, and muscle movements.

Here’s why magnesium is important for the body

  • Magnesium helps in lowering blood pressure and ward off type II diabetes due to its ability to strengthen the ability of muscles and liver cells to properly absorb sugar from your bloodstream.
  • Regular intake of magnesium enhances athletic performance by moving blood sugar into your muscles and disposing of lactate, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue.
  • Magnesium-rich foods regulate vitamin D and calcium levels in the body can improve bone density and bone crystal formation. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis in females after menopause.

Here are magnesium-rich foods you can add to your diet

1. Seeds

Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, and chia contain high amounts of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds, for example, contain 150 mg of magnesium in one serving (28 grams). Moreover, these seeds are also a rich source of iron, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids and can help you fight high cholesterol and protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolic processes.

2. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium as it offers 64 mg in one serving (28 grams). It is also loaded with antioxidants (15 mmol per 100 grams) and helps in lowering inflammation, ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. This nutritious and delicious treat is also helpful in reducing the risk factors for heart disease.

3. Avocados

Avocados fight inflammation, improve cholesterol levels, and are a great source of magnesium as one medium avocado provides 58 mg of magnesium. This fruit also contains potassium, vitamin B & K and are an excellent source of fiber, thereby helping you to stay full for longer durations of time.

4. Nuts

Almonds and cashews contain high amounts of magnesium, for example, one serving of cashews (28 grams) contains 82 mg of magnesium and are beneficial for heart health and reducing appetite. Nuts also offer monounsaturated fats that improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels and have anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Fish

Many types of fish such as salmon and mackerel are high in magnesium. In fact, half a fillet of salmon packs 53 mg of magnesium and provides protein as well. Consuming fish can help with muscle recovery and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

So, try these foods and reap the benefits of eating a diet loaded with magnesium.

Here’s a 3-step Guide to Deal With Negative Self-talk Once and for All

While being self-critical is imperative for course correction in our lives, there are times when we can be overly negative when it comes to ourselves.

Negative self-talk is one such manifestation of over critical thoughts, where, for example; instead of telling ourselves that we should learn from our mistakes that we made in a particular exam or work presentation, and resolve not to repeat them, we end up telling ourselves that we are not good at what we do, and can never get anything right. The inner dialogue that we have with ourselves could limit us to believe in our abilities, induce stress and instill in us a sense of anger, guilt, shame, or even regret.

Dealing with negative self-talk by simply thinking positively and constructively is easier said than done, but can be managed because we are ultimately responsible for our thoughts.

So, to help you deal with negative self-talk, we have jotted down three ways that will prove beneficial in overcoming the negativity triggered by such thoughts and words-

1. Identify, acknowledge, and pivot

At the very outset, it is important to identify and differentiate between negative and positive self-talk to not perceive situations in isolation, and make the requisite changes in our outlook to avoid drowning in negative thoughts.

As per a publication by the Mayo Clinic, a few common forms of self-talk include filtering, which is magnifying negative aspects of a situation and filtering out the positive ones. Personalizing is another form, where we blame ourselves when something bad occurs without rationally understanding the situation and multiple factors that affect its outcome.

There’s also catastrophizing as a form that automatically compels us to anticipate the worst that can happen to us in a given situation. Moreover, polarizing is also a form of negative self-talk, where we do not acknowledge the middle ground in a situation and see only either the good or the bad.

2. Talkback

Once you have identified patterns of negative self-talk, it is important to talk back with positive affirmations. Because it will help you take away the power from negative thoughts over your consciousness and actions.

A few ways of taking the power back is by identifying the areas of change, in work or personal relationships, or responding with affirmations that are gentle, kind, and constructive for you.

For example, you can counter a negative thought such as “I will never get this done”, with something as simple as “Let me re-group and think about a solution from another perspective” or even something like “I will consult my friend and see how he thinks about this situation”.

3. Rely on a routine

Setting a basic routine or layout for your day is critical in tackling negative self-talk, as you will approach at least some aspects of your day without a set of preconceived notions.

Having a routine helps in living in the moment and getting done with tasks in a systematic manner, be it going for a brisk 20-minute walk after dinner or watering the plants right before breakfast. Routine, as per Northwestern Medicine, in fact, helps in managing stress, sleeping, and eating properly, and contributes to a healthier self.

Remember, at the end of the day, you have to be kind to yourself.

Not Just Food but These 2 Yoga Poses Can Also Help Your Body to Detox

We all talk about lifestyle problems like dull skin, hair fall, fatigue, gut issues, and so on. But we don’t realize that all this is happening to us, because we barely pay attention to detoxifying ourselves. Of course, food plays a huge role in removing toxins from your body, but there’s another way that you can utilize. Yoga has a lot of poses that are helpful to detox your body. But there are two moves that rule the roost.

We are talking about surya namaskar and pranayama, two yoga poses that detox not just your body, but mind as well. You see, regular practice of yoga purifies your mind and body, helping you to enjoy life to the fullest. While we all have occasional binges and excesses, yoga brings balance to your system through your daily routine. Cleanse your system through breathing techniques in a clean and natural environment.

“Include surya namaskar or sun salutation to your exercise regimen and try to perform 5-11 cycles every day. Dedicate a minimum of five minutes to your meditation practice; these are easy solutions to counter an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, irregular sleep, etc.” suggests yoga expert Grand Master Akshar.

Now, let’s see how each one of these poses can help you detox.

Surya namaskar – The king of all poses

One complete surya namaskar cycle is made of 24 counts, which includes eight asanas done in a scientific, sequential process. There are 12 counts for each side (right and left), and this makes the surya namaskar or sun salutation a complete body workout. Surya namaskar works on flexibility, stamina, and core strengthening, etc. It can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. It is best practiced early in the morning on an empty stomach, but surya namaskar can be performed at any time of the day.

Steps to perform the Surya namaskar

Sun salutation is a sequence of multiple yoga poses and it goes like this:

Asana 1: Pranam asana (prayer pose)

Asana 2: Hasta uttanasana (raised arm pose)

Asana 3: Padahastasana(standing forward bend)

Asana 4: Ashwa sanchalanasana (equestrian pose)

Asana 5: Santolanasana (plank Pose)

Asana 6: Ashtanga namaskar asana (eight limbed salutation)

Asana 7: Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Asana 8: Adho mukha svanasana(downward dog pose)

Asana 9: Ashwa sanchalanasana (equestrian pose)

Asana 10: Padahastasana(standing forward bend)

Asana 11: Hasta uttanasana (raised arm pose)

Asana 12: Pranam asana (prayer pose)

Benefits of Surya namaskar:

  • It makes your immune system stronger.
  • The whole nervous system is awakened and activated, once you start doing surya namaskar.
  • It helps in reducing blood sugar levels.
  • It reduces stress as well.
  • It improves digestion and reduces constipation.
  • It also eliminates stomach ailments.
  • Lastly, it promotes balance in the body.

Bhastrika pranayama – The deep breathing miracle

Steps to perform bhastrika pranayam

  • Sit in any comfortable pose (sukhasana, ardha padmasana or padmasana)
  • Straighten your back
  • Close your eyes
  • Place your palms on your knees in prapthi mudra
  • Inhale and fill your lungs with air
  • Exhale completely
  • Inhalation and exhalation should be done in a 1:1 ratio. For example, if you breathe in for six counts, you must take six counts to exhale.

Benefits of bhastrika pranayam

  • It cleanses the entire body and releases toxins.
  • It also improves the lung’s breathing capacity.
  • Bhastrika pranayam helps in reducing the excess fat in the body.
  • It improves digestion as well.
  • It regulates the nervous systemand reduces the risk of cognitive problems.
  • Lastly, it helps in blood purification.

Bhastrika pranayama can be done by anyone; it is a powerful technique to clean up your body of toxins. Combine a consistent yoga routine, and modify your diet to include fibre in the form of fruits and vegetables regularly. Drink plenty of clean water and try to consume homemade food. Yoga can also be a great way to bond with your loved ones. With regular morning practice, you can build your immunity, and keep your metabolism high throughout the day.

So, start doing these yoga poses now and give your body a complete detox.

Boost Your Immunity This Monsoon With These 7 Foods

Boosting immunity is the biggest concern for everyone today. There are a million ways to build immunity – ranging from immunity-boosting drinks to regular exercise, all of which can boost energy, and keep you fit and healthy. Although, eating healthy foods is the most effective way to do it.

The monsoon season is here, which means you are more prone to the attack of pathogens that affect immunity. No wonder, our bodies become more vulnerable to cold, cough, flu, and infections. That’s exactly why we need good immunity to prevent and fight seasonal ailments. And as we are already in the midst of a pandemic, it is now more important than ever to build our immunity.

Here are some immunity-boosting foods:

1. Pomegranates

Fruits that are high in nutrients like vitamin C and fibre help in restoring energy and building immunity. Pomegranate is one of those fruits. It has antioxidants and vitamin C, thus it has been eaten throughout history for its immense health benefits. It helps to aid immunity, smoothens digestion, fights type 2 diabetes, and keeps your blood pressure in check. So, the next time you want to pick up a snack, munch on a pomegranate.

2. Low-fat yogurt

Probiotic or good bacteria present in yogurt can help in boosting your immune system. Plus, yogurt is packed with vitamins and minerals, which can improve your overall health.

3. Watermelons

Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit that’s good for you. Interestingly, it is 92% water and also full of antioxidants that help protect your cells. It also contains vitamins A, B, and C, and lycopene, which helps shield you from UV rays. All these nutrients reduce the risk of getting infected during the monsoon season.

4. Broccoli

A power food, broccoli packs a solid nutritional punch. It contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, and magnesium. This wondrous vegetable is also rich in fibre, protein, and vitamins A, C, E, K. It also contains an array of B vitamins, including folic acid.

5. Spinach

Did you know? Spinach is one of the most beneficial green veggies for your health. After all, it is one of the easiest monsoon vegetables to grow and has numerous health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.

6. Oranges

Citrus foods like oranges or mosambi are well known for their immune-boosting vitamin C nutrients -every variety of orange contains over 100% of your recommended daily amount. It also increases the absorption of iron into the body, and by increasing collagen production, protects cells from damage.

7. Beetroot

During the monsoon, a lot of people suffer from indigestion. Consumption of beetroot helps in the digestion process, weight loss, and builds immunity. In fact, beetroot also improves hemoglobin levels and is also beneficial for those experiencing hair and skin problems.

Though monsoon comes as a welcome relief from the scorching heat, it also brings a series of seasonal diseases. During the season, immunity takes a dip but you can always boost it with these food items.

Adopt These 5 Habits Pronto Become a Calmer Version of Yourself

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.

1. Exercise

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.

2. Meditate

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.

4. Yoga

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.