Stress, one of the most direct consequences of our exponentially decreasing personal time, has become a permanent guest in our lives. It sits there, breathing down our necks and constantly making its presence known through symptoms in our body. We may not be able to do much about easing our hectic schedules, but we can work within our existing zones of time. When you are someone who is on call 24×7, lengthy solutions won’t work. So how do we do our little time stretch and greet the tiresome guest in the backseat of our lives? Here are some tips:
Scents and incense
Forget room fresheners. Find natural scents and organic incense and light one in your workspace before you immerse into the tasks of a new day. All it takes is less than a minute but the fragrance will stay for hours in the background and keep your mood stable and positive. Here are some tips if you do not know where to start. Lavender is known to reduce anxiety and stress levels. The refreshing scent of bergamot alleviates stress. So do herbs like lemongrass and rosemary
The color green is known to relax the brain and improve concentration. Your green space need not be vast and full of plants as the term might suggest. Have a cheerful succulent in your workspace. If you are not really a plant person, consider painting one of your walls green. Even better, get a framed landscape of lush green for your favorite corner, preferably near the window
We saw this on author Joe Hill’s Instagram feed. What does STRESSED read backward say? DESSERTS, of course! And that’s a clue. Snacking on healthy desserts like yogurt takes very little time but grants you a great mood. Don’t hesitate to fix one for yourself. Oh, and it’s a good way to feel cared for as well.
Sip some green tea
Recent research from Japan has shown that polyphenols in green tea have a positive effect on psychological health. Moreover, it helps prevent Alzheimer’s and also improves your oral and cardiovascular health. If you are unsure of where to start, we suggest that you begin with chamomile (helps with insomnia), lemon balm (reduces stress hormone cortisol) or basil. Try to immerse yourself in the process of making the tea. The first whiff of aroma as the hot water hits the teabag is quite a meditative experience.
This one doesn’t need an explanation and you already know. Play that Bach, T M Krishna or pure instrumentals in your car, and if possible, even at work. Maybe it’s the sound of rain or flowing water for you. Soft, uninterrupted, non-intrusive music does wonders for your mind.
What with the cacophony of new-age wellness mantras, even this simple suggestion might sound superfluous to some of us. But the truth is that there is great wisdom in it. When you become aware of your breathing, you become aware of this great and tender mechanism of the body, which is perhaps your greatest ally through the resounding noise of all your busy days. Take a moment as you read this. Breathe. Greet your body. Smile.
Yes, really, it’s that simple. Have a 5-10 min stretch session in your office or while on your way to the wards. Mild to vigorous stretching aids fluidity of muscles ensures improved blood flow and is a natural mood enhancer. Bend. Rise. Stretch. Repeat. Try it.
Talk to yourself
Talking to oneself while alone or driving your car is a good exercise to spot and soothe spots of possible stress. It is also a good way to befriend oneself. Psychologists Gary Lupyan and Daniel Swigley conducted experiments that show that self-talk activates our sensory mechanism, helps us stay focused, and aids in our skills of perception and empathetic response.