A dozen strategies to relieve stress

1. Get organised in life.

Have a holistic approach in life. Our life should not be very highly centric to work, spouse, friends, money, pleasure or spirituality, even though our life should touch upon all these realms. Get highly organised in life, know your goals, plan for life, plan for your tomorrows, prepare and implement your to do lists. Prioritize your schedule. Make to do lists. Learn to say “No”. Share the load. Make daily tools to work smarter. Eliminate the junk.

2. Meditate and relax your mind.

Relaxation response is good for combating chronic stress.  The relaxation response technique resoftskill-stressduce stress, reduce blood pressure, help manage weight, reduce pain and asthma symptoms, relieve anxiety, lifts some types of depression. The relaxation response helps the body’s parasympathetic nervous system reregulate stress hormones. Meditation and Yoga are certain relaxation response techniques.

3. Exercise and flex your muscles.

Sedentary life styles are breeding ground for stress, anxiety and increasingly depression. Regular exercises helps relieves us of stress, anxiety, depressions, fatigue, indigestion, insomnia. Some recommended exercises would include aerobics, cycling and stroll. Exercise keeps our mind and body strong. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are brain chemicals that act as both natural pain relievers and mood enhancers.

4. Eat healthy- consume food rich in proteins, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C.

Food affects stress to a very high extent. Here we are looking at certain food which can help lower and manage stress.

Is consumption of dark chocolate good? Consumption of dark chocolates leads to release of serotonin, which makes people feel relaxed. Research shows you will get healthy antioxidants when you eat dark chocolate. However, large dose of serotonin makes you sleepy.

Here are some recommendations for you

EntitiesWhat do they provide
Complex carbohydratesWhole wheat bread, breakfast cereals, brown rice, vegetables, almondsVitamins, minerals and fibre for the body
ProteinsLean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, seeds and nutsProteins breakdown into amino acids. One of the amino acid called tyrosine stimulates the natural stress reducing hormone called dopamine.
Omega 3 Fatty AcidsFlax seeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines and mackerel, cooked soya beansSets off better moods
Vitamin CCitrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, bell pepper, papaya, cauliflower, mustard greenCan strengthen the immune system and reduce stress hormones. Studies show that cortisol and blood pressure levels returned to normal faster when people took 3000 mg of Vitamin C before a stressful work.
CholineEgg yolks, soya beans, spinach, cauliflower, beef liver, salmon, wheat gram, peanuts, bananasVitamin B group. Low level of such foods may contribute to mood and feelings related to stress and depression. In fact, it is deficiency of acetylcholine that is linked to Alzheimers.

5. Drink healthy- consume a lot of water, fresh juice and herbal tea.

EntitiesWhat do they provide
Water, fresh juice, herbal teaProper hydration needed for numerous body systems to work properly.

6. Try and become more logical and less emotional.

Pre frontal Cortex above our eye balls is what makes us rational beings. What you think influences what you feel, but what you think is based on what you perceive. To manage stress you have to shift your brain from that feeling state back to the thinking state. The PFC is the executive centre or CEO of the brain. The functionalities of PFC include creativity, problem solving, reasoning, decision making, filtering overwhelming emotions.

There is also another part of the brain called as the limbic section of the brain known for emotions. Emotions like anger and fear lead us to act out.

On the contrast, if you can recognise what you are feeling, and why, then stop to process an emotion. Shift from limbic to PFC to control emotions. Allowing fears, anxiety and worries to run amok breeds only more stress. We have powerful brains. If thinking can increase our stress levels and anxiety in a negative way, then we can use and train the same brain to move us in an opposite direction.

What the PFC can do is asses the problem, find solutions and anticipate the outcome of those decisions. Learning to use our PFC requires practice.

7. Keep smiling.

Keep smiling and you are rest assured of a happy mind. Smile wipes away all the cob webs of your minds. Smile wins people and wins the good will of people. Smile improves your relationships, alleviates your mood, and keeps away your self-limiting beliefs. People, who smile a lot, live longer happily.

8. Surround yourself with positive people.

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend time most with.” A quote by Jim Rohn. If you get associated with the meaningless crowd and their chit chat, the crowd will influence you.  On the other hand, when you get associated with great people, their excellence to a considerable extent would be influencing you. These great people can be game changers of your life if you decide to invest your time with them. Their positivity will induce positive thoughts, attitudes and behaviour in you.

9. Try to have quality sleep.

Adequate and good quality of sleep is required. Pick a bed time, schedule and stay with it. If noise is a problem, avoid noise distraction. Do not drink caffeinated beverages after noon time, as it will affect your sleep.

Try to avoid strenuous exercise a few hours before bed time. Forgo rich and heavy meals before going to sleep. Remember, it is not the quantity of sleep, but the quality of sleep that matters.

10. Have time slots for your passion.

Do you know about the gifts you were born with? So take some time out and try to catch a glimpse of your true potentials, and what your inner chambers of your heart love and like. It is passion that causes people to stay up late and get up early. Passion gives life all the meaning. There is no greatness without a passion to be great.  Passion is what fetches you happiness and fulfilment. So find timeslots for your passion and rejuvenate yourself.

11. Soothe your mind with music.

Music chills you, lifts you up and your mood, energises your body, makes you rhythmic, and makes you happy. Find time for listening to music, while on a drive, while on a break or before your sleep. Music lets us break away from stress.

12. Fill your space with aroma.

  Lemon, mango and lavender are found to contain traces of linalool a naturally occurring chemical which helps to diffuse stress, bring about calmness and good sleep.