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Stress: A phenomenon that everybody knows yet very few people have a solution for. Life has its own challenges, some more intense than others and without the right grounding techniques, stress can become a chronic, seemingly unmanageable condition. In fact, so many people truly believe that a stress-filled life is normal.
Short-term stress is normal and can push you to do what you need to. Long-term stress (above 1-2 months) on the other hand causes depletion of life quality leading to a subtle process of inflammation in the body that can lead to severe diseases. To learn how to tackle stress, Midday.com spoke to Radhika Iyer, the founder of Anahata Organic, and yogini by passion. She shares the following hacks to deal with stress and anxiety naturally:
Pranayama (breath work)
Your breath is connected to every single mood or emotion you feel. Think about it: when you’re excited, scared, angry, anxious or upset your breath speeds up. When you are happy, relaxed or focused your breath slows down. The easiest and most effective way to manage stress is to consciously slow your breath down. This will work to calm down your nervous system and give you a lighter, clearer mind. Pranayama is an ancient yogic practice that is more relevant today than ever. To truly thrive in life, it is a practice that is absolutely necessary.
Have you noticed that you feel happier after a workout? Moving your body releases endorphins in your system that helps elevate mood. Additionally, the more often you do physical exercise, the more focused and clear your head will remain. Along with this, exercise keeps you physically healthy, which keeps the stress of dealing with sickness at bay. I would strongly recommend yoga, but you can choose any form of physical activity that you resonate with.
Natural Essential Oils
Aromatherapy has been practiced for thousands of years to improve the body and heal the mind. This treatment engages the senses through smell and subtle skin absorption techniques to promote overall well-being. Engaging with a variety of botanicals through the use of essential oils helps deal with stress. Several essential oils like chamomile, sandalwood and lavender help release happy chemicals in the body that calm down the nervous system and allow you to reset. You can also set up these essential oils in a diffuser and use it to prep your space for pranayama and meditation for a more elevated experience.
Service/ Connecting with Community
Most people isolate themselves when they get stressed out. While alone time is also necessary, too much time alone can mean you end up living in your own bubble of worry, losing touch with the outside world. Finding a cause you are passionate about and contributing to it has proven to be extremely helpful in feeling more grateful in life and reducing stress. Service and being part of a supportive community help you truly connect with people and feel less alone in your worries.
Minimising Screen Time
Spending a lot of time in front of a screen is damaging to brain health and reduces quality of life. Scrolling endlessly on screens after already working on them all day, take you away from living in the present moment. As a consequence, you find yourself constantly thinking about others’ achievements, feeling FOMO or falling into a rut. Try to limit your screen time when it is not necessary and start trying out activities that you enjoy. The transition may not be smooth and may take time, but is absolutely worth it.
Spending Time in Nature
Connecting with nature replenishes our souls and infuses fresh thoughts in the mind. It is grounding to walk barefoot on grass or spend time near the ocean, trees and so on. Making a conscious decision to be around nature can do wonders for your mental and physical health and make you a lot happier and more grounded.
Meditation is a powerful, underrated tool. Don’t underestimate the power of self-reflection. When you take time to be with yourself even for just 20 minutes a day, your energy will grow and positivity enters your life quite clearly.