I have mentioned Stress in posts that cover other topics before and talked about meditation as a means to help cope with stress but here I want to cover some other ideas… as sitting still and trying to slow down thought may not suit everyone?
So what is stress? It is a reasonably new term to describe a state of distress. I have also mentioned the stress response is a normal part of our survival mechanism that it becomes overworked so both your mind and body don’t get the chance to recover. The Sympathic (peaceful) and the Parasympathic (stressful) parts of our psychological and physiological makeup should always counterbalance each other. If there is no balance then both mental and physical health issues happen as a result. So always look to the cause of stress, not the symptoms.
So what can you do to maintain the balance…because life happens and you do need some sort of stimulus in your life…right?
1. One simple practice you could try and perfect by repeating it everyday is Breath Control. By simply practicing breathing in for 3 seconds and out for 6 seconds for 10 minutes a day while you sit comfortably (but upright and not slouching) may be something simple that works for you?
2. Exercising every day, doing an activity that you really enjoy may be your way of relaxing.(It should not be overtaxing.)
3. Having a hobby that stimulates your mind, but that does not overstimulate it works for others.
4. Ensuring that you get enough good quality sleep or if you don’t, look to have a time in your day as a catchup nap of 20 minutes in length will help in stress relief. (Any more than 20 minutes will interfere with your normal night sleep pattern!)
5. Developing your sense of humor is another way to de stress. People who have a great sense of humor live longer because they have a more balanced perspective of life. (This sense of humor is innate in all of us and it is a skill you can learn, so is not just in your nature.)
6. Allied to the fifth point, being happy is not something that you achieve by achieving something! Think about it… Happiness is a skill in state of mind and is not destination-bassed, because once you achieve something you will always find something else to achieve?
7. Is the practice of breath control, which is a more advanced form of the first way of controlling stress on this list. Specifically Kria Yoga is something you can do anytime and in any place and to gain the most out of such a skill you should practice it 20 minutes a day. Such a practice will help you control your reaction on what life throws at you as it will understand reality differently.
8. Eat real food and do not use food as a psychological crutch. The health of your gut and your brain are interconnected as I have stated before. Your relationship with food is critical in staying healthy!
9. But the practice of mind control is something you should work on all the time as having real control of both your conscious and unconscious minds will develop peace of mind. Why? Because what you think and what you do will then be in harmony!
We need to wake up from the bondage of stress we put upon ourselves. The bondage is ours and does not occur by someone or some situation outside of ourselves. Taking the responsibility of ridding yourself of these shackles is the first step in achieving absolute freedom?