To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body's natural relaxation response. One of the ways to go about this is by making time for certain activities that can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood.
Why not try one of the below tactics the next time your stress levels are tested?
- When you exercise, focus your attention on your breath,
- Breathe in a scent like incense or essential oils that makes you feel good,
- Squeeze and then release tense or numb parts of your body,
- Focus on the present rather than something that’s past or in the future,
- Visualize in detail a scene that makes you feel peaceful,
- Listen to music that calms and lifts you up,
- Take a yoga class, meditate or go for a walk in nature.
Meditation is an excellent way to calm the nervous system when feeling tested or overwhelmed. Even by simply chanting a mantra repeatedly (such as ‘I am calm’, ‘I am patient’ or ‘I am resilient’) you can change your mind-set and alleviate the feeling of pressure or stress significantly.
If you feel like you need some guidance with your practice, why not listen to an audio meditation? Below is a quick stress-busting meditation led by Deepak Chopra. Press play anytime you needed to be guided into calm, controlled breathing to quiet any feelings of overwhelm. Once you settle in to a place of ease, take a moment to prepare yourself for action, which often proves to be the ultimate antidote to anxiety.
It’s important to note that no one can avoid all stress, but you can counteract it by learning how to produce the relaxation response – i.e. a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response. The relaxation response puts the brakes on stress and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.