When we are stressed the following happens:
- Blood pressure rises
- Breathing becomes more rapid
- Digestive system slows down
- Heart rate (pulse) rises
- Immune system goes down
- Muscles become tense
- We do not sleep (heightened state of alertness)
The art of coping with stress would require meditation as a lifestyle change. With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more prana (energy). This results in joy, peace, enthusiasm as the level of prana in the body increases.
On a physical level, meditation:
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
- Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
- Improves the immune system
- Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. It takes only a few minutes every day. Once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation becomes the best part of your day!
Other Things that You can Do to Relieve Stress
- Do exercise everyday!Exercise works much in a same way as meditation do. Whether it is yoga, running, or tai chi it gives you alone time with your-self and your thought. Exercise releases the hormone endorphins into the brain that makes you feel good and improve your mood. Exercise also prevents obesity and other problems related to them and makes you feel energetic and active through out the day.
- Eat healthy! It is proven that bad eating habits like eating junk food can make you depressed, so involve in healthy eating. Healthy foods give you energy for day to day activity and also helps to improve your mood. Many stress buster foods are present that includes all types of berries, almonds and salmon.
- Include B Vitamins in your Diet Vitamin B promotes the brain health, and promotes functioning of the mind and nervous system. And induce the relaxation and it fights fatigue. Vitamin B deficiency can cause depression, lack of interest, and irritation, to get rid of these symptoms, increase the foods that are rich in vitamin B. Food that are rich in vitamin B are germ, bran of cereal grains, beans, eggs, nuts, dairy products and liver.
- Self-massage (abhyanga)As per Ayurveda self massage improves all of the sense organs, and remarkably, improves eyesight. It also helps to boost our immune system, makes us feel whole again and nourish our body and soul simultaneously.
How to give yourself a Self-MassageSet aside some quiet time for your massage. 5-15 minutes is enough time to massage the oil on your body (preferably before you shower)– though if you have no time, rub the oil on your skin (instead of soap) in the shower. Do this daily.
The room should be warm. Use sesame oil for Vatas, sunflower or coconut oil for Pittas and olive or mustard oils for Kaphas.
Avoid that extra cup of coffee. Too much coffee can make you feel nervous and anxious. But some studies have shown that some coffee in day time offers health benefits and improves your mood.
- Undress completely and stand on your towel or mat.
- Starting with a small amount of oil in your hands begin to gently rub the oil into your scalp. Massage the oil into your scalp and hair with your fingertips. If you would prefer to keep the oil out of your hair simply omit the use of oil for this part of the massage.
- Vigorously work down your body until the oil has been massaged into every part of your body. Use long strokes on your limbs and circular strokes over all your joints, chest and abdomen. Cover every inch of skin, attuning to your bodily tissues with your hands. Spend extra time on areas that are less integrated (for some this is thighs, buttocks, breasts).
- Take ample time to massage the soles of your feet as this can have a particularly relaxing and soothing affect.Rinse off the oil in the shower. Take time in the shower to allow the oil on your hands to mix with the water from the shower to massage your face and ears. Use gentle circular strokes to massage your cheeks and forehead, move out towards the ears in stroking motions around the eyes and lips. Soap is drying to the skin, including to the anus; try switching to oil instead.
Try to organize your life as it offers some control and peace of mind. If you are having a very busy lifestyle and you are not getting any time for important to do list. Prioritize your activities for the day. Maintain a diary or a task calendar in your mobile of all the important things and then see what you can discard off and what you need to do. This list of priority makes your life much easier and make you free from the stress. This list also gives you also an insight to what all is not very important which you were carrying as load on your mind.
A lot of internet and cellphones use are one of the many causes of the stress now days. By limiting use of the internet and switching off the mobile, we can limit and close some of the stress channel. It also makes us live in the moment fully and appreciate it. It is important to switch off the use of the internet/mobile half an hour before sleeping; it will cut down on the sleep problems. Moreover you would spend some quality time with your loved ones which would help you sleep better.
Sleep is the most important natural stress buster. Too little sleep leaves us cranky, irritable and on edge. Too much sleep can leave us sluggish and depressed. Try to find the right balance that allows you to feel well-rested and ready for the day. Promote better sleep by establishing bedtime rituals that signal to your brain that it’s time to fall asleep, avoid exercise in the three hours before sleep or take a warm bath. Certain foods can also promote sleep, such as bananas, peanuts, figs or a warm glass of milk. These foods all contain tryptophans, a precursor for creating melatonin. However, avoid having a large meal close to bedtime, because it may result in indigestion, reflux or heartburn.
For a better sleep, drink warm glass of milk, switch off your mobile phones, relax with your family, talk for sometime with them, then do some meditation and then go off to sleep.
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