Meditation and yoga
Meditation is your ultimate route to wisdom, lack of meditation give roots to ignorance. One should know what leads him forward and what holds him back. Meditation helps you choose the path to wisdom.Out of all of the benefits that meditation bestows onto our lives, relive from stress is one of the most eminent one. A simple meditation session of few minutes daily can help decrease anxiety while improving your cardiovascular health. You also achieve a greater capacity of relaxation and attain the ability to see the positive side of things.
Meditation can help you by:
Relaxing your motor muscles of legs and arms
Slowing down the rate of body functions
Slowing down your brain activities
Normalizing your breathing rate
Meditation helps by decelerating the constant thinking process of our brain. It also reduces chattering, planning, over-thinking and fantasizing which often occupies the conscious state of our mind during all times. Meditation reduces our arousal and gets the body in a state of self-transcendence. As a result, you find yourself in a positive, creative, energetic and a calm state of mind after meditation. Meditation can be exercised at almost any unruffled spot during any time of the day. Here are a few steps you can follow to get immersed in a nice contemplation session:
First, find a quiet place where you can sit and meditate alone
Adjust your body while sitting in a comfortable position
Shut your eyes closed and stop thinking about any thoughts, if thoughts come, let them pass by
Start objecting something, a ball for instance
Immerse deep into your sub-conscious and start to repeat the word ‘relax’ in any rhythm you feel comfortable
Continue to see the image while repeating the word
Concentrate on your breaths and try not thinking about anything else
Let the process continue for 10-20 minutes
Open your eyes slowly and you are done
When you open your eyes, you will feel relaxed. You will experience the joy of being to a wonderful dreamland. Everything around will seem positive and you will soon enough notice a lack of anxiety in yourself. Enjoy the stress-free moments. That’s the magic of meditation.
Similar to meditation, yoga is a technique that focuses on the different elements of the human body and ways to align them to achieve the ultimate solace. Different forms of yoga help us in learning the methods of concentration and contemplation. The main aim of these exercises is to gain control of your consciousness while bringing the physical body under the control of our will.
Yoga teaches you different positions in which slow stretching of body parts are emphasized. One also learns different types of patterned breathing exercises. With practice, different positions can be learned and used for relaxation and meditation. The yoga positions clear the mind and create additional energy in our body. This helps us by giving us the strength to fight against stress and negativism. If you are starting with Yoga, here is a small breathing exercise that can be practiced while sitting in lotus position. Lotus position is basically a stature where you sit on the floor with feet tucked under your knees. Follow these steps:
Relax and sit comfortably in the lotus position
Count to 6 and breath air through the mouth
Hold your breath and count to 1 to 9
Exhale breath while counting from 1 to 3
Repeat this breathing procedure 3 times
Hold left nostril and repeat the procedure while exhaling through the right nostril
Continue doing this for three cycles and then repeat while holding right nostril
Repeat the three activities
After engaging in this Yoga breathing session, you will realize that you are energized to the highest levels. You will feel more alive, calm and energized. Your road to ultimate succor has begun.
Talking to good people
When you are stressed, you often try to find stillness by discussing your problems with others. Not only this reduces the pressure, you also get to experience free bits of advice and guidance. However, this does not mean that you will always get a positive response at such a crucial time. For instance, if you are depressed about an injury, you might look to share your views with your friends. While a friend will give you hope of getting recovered soon, another one will frighten you with negative consequences and lifetime disabilities you might face. You are not sure about both the advice as they are based on future events. Still, you might draw your thought process more towards the negative consequences.
This is the difference between talking to good or bad people. The negative company always brings criticism and hopelessness in our lives and should be avoided at any cost. If possible, you should avoid discussing your issues with someone you assume to be of unhelpful nature.
Talking to good people not only helps in staying motivated, it also keeps you away from pessimistic habits. You need to make a list of wise people and should practice talking to them during stressful situations. In a time of grievance, a simple word of advice can make or break your mental stability.
Taking control of emotions
Few years from now, you will be laughing on things you are stressing about right now. So why not simply laugh now and let the constant worry pass by. Most of the times, our attitude and emotions decide whether we are ready to stress about an issue or not. Often at times, emotions like anger, anxiety, frustration and lack of patience are the reasons behind the dwelling of negativism inside our mind. While everyone feels high and low in daily life, it is important to take control of your emotions which significantly affects our mood and well-being.
Our ability to control our emotions affects the way other perceives us. For instance, if you smile during a serious meeting at office, you might face resentful looks from your colleagues. In contrast, if you get angry on a driver who is overtaking rashly, you ought to attract unwanted attention and might even endanger your own safety. Undoubtedly, controlling emotions is not only vital but mandatory as well.
Here are some steps you can take to take better control of your emotions:
Avoid circumstances triggering unwanted emotions
Try to modify the situation whenever possible
Shift or divert your focus from a situation in which you can’t control your emotions
Change your thoughts and beliefs that drive your negative thoughts
Get control of your response related to anger or related negative emotions.
Finding inner peace-looking at the brighter side of life
Inner peace is a deliberate tranquil state of mind that calms your spirit despite the potential presence of stress precursors around you. The main aim of gaining peace of mind is not to eliminate stress, but to find the happiness amidst stress. This is a creative methodology and could be achieved by looking at the brighter side of life.
One can start practicing this splendor way of achieving seclusion by trying to achieve silence in your mind. Inner silence is hard to be attained in today’s world where we are encumbered with responsibilities, goals and race of earning money. One can practice these simple steps to achieve inner peace and see the brighter side of life:
Stop making excuses and say what you mean. You should mean what you say and refrain from lying. You should practice being honest at heart which turns you into an honest person from the heart with integrity and veracity.
Avoid saying things to everyone. This means that we should not chatter or gossip about someone to everyone or about everyone to someone. Our peace of mind makes us realize that gossiping is nothing but wastage of time and energy.
Stop playing the blame game with yourself. This means that you should not think anything in your inner subconscious that you cannot say out in the world. We often criticize ourselves for being wrong. Such negative self-talk should be avoided.
Keep away from suggestions until they are useful and kind. If you have an overflowing inner chatter, you will spill it out somewhere and to someone else. You should practice saying things that are wise and useful. Never criticize where it’s not necessary and advice only after analyzing the situation. Finding peace is not avoiding the circumstances in life. It is, in fact, realizing who you are at the deepest level of your subconscious. And if you still feel it tough to implement the above-given steps, you should simply sit down and start looking at the brighter side of life. You cannot fool your mind telling yourself that you can become a millionaire in one night. Instead, you should think about poor people who are unable to feed their families. This will help you in assuring yourself that you are living a better and happy life. Helping for social causes, feeding needy people, adopting a pet, serving an injured animal, assisting elders in daily tasks and remembering God will help develop a good sense of perception. Start looking through the glass mirror of the brighter side of life.
Immersing in good things- adopting nature
How do you feel when you spent a few hours inside a shopping mall, eating to your full desire? You might feel satisfied, happy, entertained and amused. But, how do you feel when you relax sitting in front of a beach on a hammock, talking to a friend or reading a book. Don’t you feel much better? Probably yes!
We are living in an age, where we get everything under a single roof. We can enjoy indoors in plazas, malls and monuments. But, we should not ignore the importance of the fresh breeze and a soothing ambiance bestowed when we are in the lap of nature. Adopting nature and staying close to it is not only an experience to share for a lifetime, it is a type of remedy that helps us in forgetting our stressful routine.
If you are unable to travel and spend time amid nature, you can bring nature at home. This is one of the least talked about methods that can help take you out of the stress circle. For this, you should start implementing habits and hobbies related to mother earth. These include gardening, keeping pets, wildlife photography, exploring, trekking, and many more. All of these nature-oriented hobbies include elements of the environment and are beyond doubt, rewarding.
Imagine sowing seeds of beautiful lotus in a pond and then waiting for it to grow. How cool will it be when your friends appreciate a full bloom of lotus in your backyard? You will get Goosebumps knowing that you are the caretaker of that flower. Imagine how good it is to keep a fish bowl and watch your fish grow fins and become adult? Same way, how amazing it is to adopt a stray pup and look after its well being while watching him give you the love back fold two times.
This way you can bring the miracles of nature in your home and relieve stress. The activities often keep you occupied and if you come stressed out at the end of the day, you always have something positive to look forward to. If you have not adopted any nature hobby, you are surely missing out some of the most prestigious gifts of life. However, it’s never too late, so start now.
Eating healthy food
When we face negativism, our body starts working on countering its effects. Needless to say, our eating habits and nutrition can increase or decrease our stress levels. Certain healthy foods can increase the intensity of hormones in your body that might provide comfort from stress. Also, several food items can reduce stress by inducing hormones that trigger it. We often tend to look for our favorite eatables when we are surrounded by stress. The choices might include pizza, burgers, pasta, cheese, ice cream and many more eatables. What we don’t know is that such food choices make us feel exhausted and we are unable to deal with stress. These are even related to an increase in blood pressure which wreaks havoc on our blood arteries and increases the risk of blood pressure.
By having low-fat, fiber-rich and high-carbohydrate diet, one can stay away from stress and negativity. To make things more precise, here is the list of healthy foods you should eat to keep stress levels checked:
Fruits and vegetables- these elevate our intake of antioxidant-rich food. Fruits and vegetables boost our immune system while providing plenty of vitamins and minerals in our diet. These are also good for maintaining a healthy and young skin, something which is apprehended when we experience stress.
Green tea-being rich in antioxidants, green tea is a good way to calm your senses. The soothing effect of sipping a warm cup of green tea will evoke your mind, providing you with the energy to deal with stress. Certain green tea varieties have ingredients like basil, ginger, lavender and chamomile that provide a relaxing effect right away. Green tea also improves our body metabolism and helps in fat-loss.
Dark chocolate- while some of us will argue about the negative impacts of chocolate, the dark version of this sweet ecstasy can be actually helpful in reducing stress. It simply lowers down our stress hormones and helps us rejuvenate in negative situations. Besides, indulging in a chocolate fantasy is always good during the times of stress. Keep in mind not to have excess calories in diet and you are good to go by using dark chocolate as a stress-buster.
Food with limited carbohydrates- though an excess of carbs might lead to certain disorders, its consumption in a limited amount is helpful in reducing stress. This is because carbohydrates increase the serotonin level in our body. Serotonin helps boost our mood while decreasing stress levels. One can experience improved cognitive function by having limited carbohydrate-rich diets including healthy ones like sweet potatoes and whole grains. Make sure that you stay away from unhealthy carb diets like cheese, pasta or pizzas.
Avocados- these are the magical fruits that serve as a complete source of Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential amino acids reduce anxiety and therefore lower down stress. Having avocados with a slice of bread or within a salad will boost your concentration and enhance your mood right away.
Dry fruits- nuts are full of healthy fatty acids and vitamins. These are the essential nutrients in our diet and can help us by providing energy to counter stress and control emotions. Dry fruits like almonds, walnuts and pistachios also help in lowering our blood pressure levels. Limit your servings to a handful per day and you are all good to go.