In our modern world, we sure have created such a lifestyle that has all the physical amenities catering to the comfort of our body. But, unfortunately, while we were so fixated on creating the perfect world for our physical body we forgot to take care of the one controlling this body, our mind. It is no surprise that in current times, mental health is declining rapidly across the globe. Among all of the negatives, stress, seem to be the most common one, as it can be seen in every age group. So what can we do to alleviate this stress without having to take a vacation?
Common Causes of Stress
Before we begin with the solutions, it is important to understand why one is stressed in the first place. As it can help people understand that the real reason why they are under stress.
- Work-life Balance: One of the most common causes of stress in the urbanscape is the lack of work-life balance. This includes working prolonged hours which usually result in a lack of exposure and connection with the family. Additionally, the inability to maintain the balance between work and personal life causes a daily stream of stress, which after a while causes chronic mental issues. Though there are other factors such as job insecurity, work environment, and more but those cause less pressure on the mind.
- Finances: This is nothing new, lack of finances has always been the number cause of stress in adults for hundreds of years. This is something that only begins to get fixed when a person begins to have a decent amount of money.
- Parenting: Is there a surprise that parenting causes stress? Raising a child is considered to be one of the most hands-on tasks ever. One needs to be constantly paying attention and making sure they are doing the right thing for their child.
- Relationships: Though considered to be a source of joy and love, if engaged with the wrong person can be the source of a lot of pain and stress.
Common steps to minimize stress
Since the majority of the population is suffering from stress, here are some of the simple steps anyone can take to reduce it.
1. Deep Breathing: As air is our main source of life, it is the cure to many problems as well if you know how to utilize it. Deep breathing is a phenomenal technique that can not only mitigate stress but also enhance ones’ mood as well. You don’t really have to become a full-on monk to be able to do this, just sit down somewhere you know nobody will disturb you and just relax. Start breathing at a very slow pace with each inhalation and exhalation ranging anywhere from 5-8 seconds, don’t count it just do it. Next time if you feel you are going through a negative mental phase, just take a deep breath.
2. Music: Another therapeutic process which we have been doing for many years now, listening to music relaxes the mind and as a result helps with stress. Though some say any type of music will do, other scientists strongly suggest that non-vocal calming tones are the best when it comes to relieving stress.
3. Get Active: The thing about stress is that if you are idle, it increases, you can even try for yourself. Next time you sense it approaching just don’t do anything and let it occur, soon it will start to get worse. With that said, get active. It can be as simple as a 15 minutes walk around the block or if you are a health freak start working out. This will not only help you get in a better mental space but will also get you shredded.
4. Light it up: Unfortunately, not referring to partying here but a new study has shown that unnatural light can be bad if you are already stressed. So turn the lights off and light up a candle and just stare into the beautiful and calming flame. There’s a reason why meditation is usually done in dark places, as it relaxes our minds and helps us be at peace. Plus, candles are as always romantic and if you happen to have a scented one, you’ll have a great time.
5. Stree Ball: There’s a reason why these products are rising in popularity. As stress is ever-increasing and people are unable to control it on their own, stress balls are the saving grace in this situation. You simply grab it and squeeze the ever-living life out of it and continue to do so as long as you feel relieved. Usually, I don’t recommend products for mental issues but this one does help.
6. Caffeine break: This can be the most difficult task ever for some people but caffeine is observed to be causing stress even under normal circumstances. So to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, one must take a break from the coffee. Tea is not saved from this as well, as black tea can cause similar effects in some people. So if you feel like enjoying a hot beverage, make yourself some hibiscus tea.
7. Annoy your pet: This goes without saying but having a pet around can help one exponentially when it comes to relaxation and overall maintaining a healthy mind. So the next time you feel you are not feeling yourself, cuddle your good boy, and if you happen to not have a pet just ask your neighbors to let you pet their dog. There are some cafes and offices around the world that have a pet for this very purpose. If you happen to have a pet cat, proceed with caution.
8. Start writing: There are two ways to go on about this process. The first one has to do with just projecting all of the negative emotions onto the paper in the form of words. Whatever you are feeling for any reason just write it down in detail. The second method has to do with the feeling of gratitude, just write down the things you are grateful for in life. It might sound like the latter one will not work, however, it is the sense and understanding that you are actually fortunate enough to have the life you had and finally understand that your present stress will soon pass.
9. Talk: As you may have heard this a thousand times, human is a social animal and chances are if you are stressed you were not able to express your feelings to someone. So the best thing to do in this situation is to call or even better meet up with your friends or family. In the beginning, it may feel like you are burdening them, however, you’d be surprised to know how much you are valued and they’d be more than willing to listen to you and help you out.
10. Bathe in the Sun: Our existence on this planet is thanks to the parent star of our solar system, the Sun. You better believe that sunlight is essential not only for our body but also for our mind as well. Anytime you feel pressured just lay down and close your eyes and let the soothing sunlight relax your mind and calm you down.
Now we all would love to escape from all of our problems and just go relax on the beach while sipping on Pina Coladas, but not all of us are privileged to do so. But these simple steps can be taken by anyone and anywhere, so go ahead and beat that stress.