Stress is the body's reaction towards any pressure one faces either physically or mentally. It is meant to protect us but when we are constantly triggered by stressors for extended periods of time, it can cause discomfort, sickness, anxiety, and hence needs immediate attention.
Research shows that over 50% of most mental health problems originate from stress. The same can be seen increasingly in the case of physical health issues such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, insomnia, diabetes, etc. Stress, silently, wreaks havoc on physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Not only does stress impact health, relationships, and interactions but can also be life-threatening if left unaddressed.
We reached out to Dr. Chandni Tugnait, MD (A.M) Psychotherapist and Founder and Director of Gateway Of Healing, and asked her to share her tips on ways we can manage stress effectively. Dr. Chandni says,
To manage stress one doesn't have to eliminate thoughts. Instead, we observe our thoughts without judgment and simply be aware. A great help in managing stress and increasing the levels of energy is a fixed morning routine where one takes out time to feel gratitude, meditate, read a few pages of a book while sipping tea, exercise, write a journal and take a cold shower. Needless to say, that this routine is effective only post a wholesome 7-8 hours of sleep.
Read on to know her tips on managing stress.
1. Take Frequent Breaks
When at work, don’t drown yourself in hours and piles of work. Take frequent breaks and in those breaks stretch a little, walk a bit, take a few deep breaths, listen to your favourite song or read a comic strip...anything that helps you relax.
2. Connect With Nature
Nature has the ability to calm and heal. Look at the trees, leaves, grass, and sky. Feel the breeze. A few minutes with nature daily can assist greatly in calming the mind and reducing stress.
3. Technology Detox
A few hours every day, keep away from technology. Spend time with family and friends without your phones, laptop, or television. Focus on your connections. This in turn will have a monumental impact on the level of stress you experience.
Make gratitude and appreciation a part of your life. Say it out aloud. Appreciate your body, your phone, your sneakers, your beating heart–every big and small thing that adds value to you and your life.
5. Meditation & Breath Work
Daily meditation of 10-20 minutes is known to have a profound impact on calming the mind and releasing stress, worry, and anxiety. You may focus on your breath, a mantra, silence, or any other focal point. Make sure you stick to a technique and do not keep hopping from one to another as that may slow the progress and may cause you to stop the practice completely. Deep breathing and other breathing exercises are stellar for mindfulness.
6. Live, Laugh, Play
When was the last time you let yourself loose? When was the last time you laughed without the fear of being judged? When was the last time you took time out for yourself? Live, Laugh, Play; there is no other way. Be a kid. Try new things. Have fun.
Dr. Chandni says,
Ignoring stress or getting used to it is not a desirable option. Seek help from an expert in case of chronic stress. Wake up to your beautiful life. Prioritise being in the present.
What's your go-to tip to manage stress? Please share it with us in the comments below!