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Many a time, we find ourselves in situations where our to-do list seems never ending, deadlines are fast approaching and we find ourselves saying ‘Uff.. I feel stressed!’

 The word “Stress” is used left and right and is so common that even 5-6 year old kids feel they are stressed, let alone adults. But there are also other sets of people who are stressed and yet they do not know about it. This has become part and parcel of their life. Most of these people do not even understand what “Stress” actually means.

From the medical news magazine – “Put in simpler terms, stress is what you experience when you believe you can’t cope effectively with a threatening situation. If you see an event or situation as only mildly challenging, you probably feel only a little stress; however, if you perceive a situation or event as threatening or overwhelming, you probably feel a lot of stress.”

Some facts on Stress

·        As per the world stress statistics, more than 60% of people are suffering from stress.

·        If you are under stress you tend to over eat or eat unhealthy foods.

·        You also lose sleep overnight. 

·        "Extreme" Stress even shrinks the brain which can lead to future psychatric problems

·        Every year you lose almost 30% or above of your income due to stress.

But how do you know that you are under stress? Below is an indicative list that will help you understand if you are suffering from stress

·        The Physical effects of stress include: Sweating, pain in the back or chest, cramps or muscle spasms, fainting, headache, heart disease, high blood pressure, lower immunity against diseases, sleeping difficulties, stomach upset

·        Emotional reactions can include: anger, anxiety, burnout, concentration issues, depression, fatigue, a feeling of insecurity, forgetfulness, irritability, restlessness and sadness

·        Behaviors linked to stress include: food cravings and eating too much or too little ,sudden angry outbursts, drug and alcohol abuse, social withdrawal, frequent crying ,relationship problems

Yes, Stress is silently killing you. Obviously your life is important and you want to live a healthy, successful and happy life.

Do you want to know how to alleviate all you’re built up stress and live a happy, healthy and successful life?

Below are the 5 techniques that I implement to be emotionally and physically fit: (Burn your Stress, Mindful Breathing, Chocolate Meditation, Attitude of Gratitude and Color a Picture)

1.      Burn your Stress: For this you will need pen and a bundle of paper to write, a bowl strong enough to hold the fire and a match box. Follow the below steps :

a.       You will need a silent place or a room, where nobody can come and disturb your. Sitting in an open space would be more beneficial

b.      Make yourself comfortable in the room.

c.       Write all your negative thoughts and emotions on a piece of paper. Let the thoughts flow in, do not worry what it is all about. Don’t give a second thought on what you are writing. Just keep writing as the thoughts come in your mind. While writing you may also feel like crying, screaming, be comfortable doing this. Let the emotions flow out

d.      Take a bowl and a match box. Tear the paper in the bowl and while you are tearing the paper put an intention “I let go off all the negative emotions, stress, out of my body in this bowl”. Keep repeating this as you tear each and every paper in the bowl

e.      Then burn all those pieces of paper in the bowl

f.        While you observe the paper burning have an intention, all my negative emotions, stress are burning out and I am released out of this stress and anxiety . I am a free bird and a happy, healthy and successful person. Keep repeating this at least 12 times

2.      Mindful Breathing: A basic method is to focus your attention on your own breathing—a practice simply called “mindful breathing.” After setting aside time to practice mindful breathing, you’ll find it easier to focus attention on your breath in your daily life—an important skill to help you deal with stress, anxiety, and negative emotions, cool yourself down when your temper flares, and sharpen your ability to concentrate.

Below is the daily 2-minute breathing exercise that can do wonders for you

a.       Sit in a comfortable position and ensure your back and head are supported

b.      Next place your hands on your lower stomach, just a few inches below your belly-button and relax your jaw

c.       With your mouth wide open start taking deep breaths through your mouth and notice that your belly-button begins to rise like a balloon

d.      Exhale through your mouth with a quick, but gentle sigh

e.      Focus on breathing in deeply through your mouth for the count of 7 and out for the count of 6, without pausing.

f.        If over the next 2-minutes any thoughts and feelings arise, as they shall, you can imagine that they are either a balloon — each with a different colour, gently floating away on the breeze — Or, they are gently floating away in a stream that is flowing quietly at your feet — And with kind compassion you accept whatever is in the moment.

3.      Chocolate Meditation: Get your favourite chocolate. Follow the below steps. Take a piece of chocolate and mindfully eat it. Health conscious people can have dark chocolate. People who do not like chocolate can chose a food item of their choice.

a.       Slow down, sense it, savor it and smile between bites

b.      Purposefully slow down. Use all your senses to see it, touch it, smell it, and sense it

c.       Then gently pop it into your mouth and really savor it. Savor its texture, its taste, how it feels in your mouth

d.      Let it linger and then swallow it. After you have swallowed it, let your lips turn up slightly and smile

e.      Do the above steps for each bite you take

4.      Attitude of Gratitude: An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike. Thinking about all you have to appreciate can boost your happiness and your overall sense of well-being, according to psychologists. Follow the below steps :

a.       Take a Book and make this your Gratitude Journal

b.      When you wake up every day list down 3 things that you are grateful for and write this in the Gratitude Journal

c.       While you are walking or climbing stairs or in a lift or just sitting idle keep repeating in your mind “I thank the Universe for blessing me with happiness, abundance, prospering and joy. I thank each and every person in and around me, they help me evolve in my life journey. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You”

d.      Before you go to sleep express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about

5.      Color a Picture : Artistic journaling is a method of expression that can help you access your “unconscious self,” bringing forth an awareness that can help you work through difficult feelings and traumatic events, while learning about yourself. (Stuckney and Nobel, 2010). Drawing or colouring your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper can be a helpful exercise in self-reflection.

You will need a chart paper or a plain drawing book and a box of poster colors or pencil crayons or anything else you would like to use to paint. You do not need to be artistic or have a good knowledge on painting. With whatever knowledge and understanding you have,follow the below steps:

a.       Close your eyes think of a happy image or an incident. Observe your feelings, what colors do you notice in this happy image. Make a mental note of it

b.      Take the paper and the colors and now let your happy image with the colors be on the paper

c.       Be relaxed and comfortable and complete the picture

d.      Once done observe the picture and keep it at a place where you can see it always. As this image will always remind you of how happy and joyful you are.

After following the above In my personal and professional life I have seen a lot of positive changes. I truly believe in “You have the power to transform you life. Within you is strength greater than any life challenge”.

Apart from the above I also conduct workshop for Anil Dagia's Emotional Fitness Gym. More about this can be found at https://www.alchemistzen.com/programs-for-you/emotional-fitness-gym/

 

References & Credits to

a. Dummies.co

b. Medicalnewstoday.com

c. Wikepedia

d. Huffingtonpost


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