Stress is an elusive concept. No one knows what exactly are its causes and remedies. All that we know is its manifestations. It manifests in diverse ways in the form of increased heart beats, speedier breathing, faster sweating, cramps etc. Those physiological responses are body’s combat mechanism to deal with the harm, the stress can cause.
Diverse causes induce stress. They range from ones failure to study well to achieve targets to inability to cope up with others expectations. The mismatch between one’s ability, expectation and achievement is a causative of stress. There are mental causes of stress. A distorted view of reality comes under the mental causes. Even a misconception of a rope as a snake can cause stress on oneself. Ill-health, hormonal imbalance and physical ailments are biological causes. The expectation of the society and its norms, as perceived by one, comes under the category of social causes. The fear of what others would think can put one to a lot of stress. Stress cannot be dealt with when its causative is not known. Finding the real causes of stress is not at all that easy. But there are general mechanisms to deal with them.
Resorting to healthy life styles is one general way to reduce ones stress in the long run. If the person is physically fit, the stress any cause can impose on him will be minimal. Eating balanced food, doing regular exercise and having enough sleep are the essential ingredients for better health and prevention of stress. Make steamed, boiled and grilled food for better digestion and health. Avoid use of fried, unnatural and junk food,. Enhance the quantity of fibre in the food for its easy digestion and excretion. Eat fruits and vegetables more. Restrict the use of caffeine, sugar, salt etc to the minimum. Drink enough water to keep your body functioning regular and digestion perfect. Food eaten in excess can make your body environment bad for stress. Chilled fruit juices will be relaxing. There is a food-mood connection. Choose food that generates good mood. As well, eating should be relaxing.
Doing regular exercise keeps one fit and healthy. Ladies can prefer dancing as an art and exercise. Swimming is a wholesome exercise. What is called “happy hormone” (endorphin) generated during exercise works as an anti dot against stress. Exercise reduces muscular tension. It helps body’s intake and use of more oxygen. That will in turn regulate ones mood and may improve overall flexibility of muscles. Yoga is much more than an exercise, if it is done systematically. Make it a routine habit to engage in singing songs or whistling tunes which can bring one to a state of mental composure. Listening to smoothening music will also help. When one laughs, all the six hundred muscles in his body will move. Laughing can reduce stress.
Meditation can offset the effect of stress. It makes one relaxed and will counter the effect of stress. Daily meditation builds ones resistance to stress and its causes. Mediation is neither the process of concentrating anything nor chanting anything at all, but a state of no thinking – absolute no-thinking. In the process of meditation, one should let his thoughts come in and go incessantly in such a way that it subsides over time. That is the right approach to meditation. Resisting a thought will make it stronger and trying to avoid it would be difficult. In a perfect meditative state, there will t be no thinking process in one’s mind – it will be a composed state. Chanting a mantra and obsessing ones breathing are advised by some meditation trainers for the initial phase of meditation so as to escape from numerous unregulated thoughts coming in. There is nothing wrong in using the mantra in the in the transitional phase, but practising meditation without any mantra is the best course.
Sleep brings us rest and health. Regular and healthy sleep will reduce the chances of causing stress. Keep regular bed timing and ensure comfortable sleep environment – such as ventilation, fresh air, optimum temperature, firm bed that supports the body etc – while going to bed. Avoid stimulants like alcohol. Full stomach in the evening can make ones sleep poor. Keep yourself active during the day to get good night’s sleep. Deficiency in sleep is a problem. When you don’t sleep well, the chemicals in your brain get depleted and that will cause emotional disturbances. Engaging in activities that brings pleasure or relaxation is a good solution. As well, love the work that you are destined to do for your earning or choose the work that you love, so as to minimise stress.
Laughter plays a great role in releasing oneself from stress. It is a wonder medicine for your body muscles. It can brighten your mind and make you happy. Telling a joke when in distress can help row your way out of stress. Faking a smile even will be useful. Laughter reduces stress inducing hormones – nephrine and cortisol. They reduce ones unreasonable anxiety about future that may cause stress in him. Remember that future is indeterminate. One cannot alter it. But remain prepared well to deal with any possible eventuality like a soldier who keeps being prepared for a war anytime. When you get into trouble, use the situation to build your inner strength – to deal with similar situation in future.
In essence, use every adversity as an opportunity to strengthen your capability. In every adversity, there lies a new beginning. Purposeful avoidance of negative thoughts can do wonders in reducing tension. Focusing on positive thoughts is the best way to avoid negative thoughts.