Stress and relaxation are two opposite banks of a river that could lead your life towards two different levels. Stress will make your life bloated with endless despair while relaxation will act as a golden thread of calmness that would weave your life with elements of serenity, optimism and exuberance.
HealthWire spoke to Karishma Kathuria, a noted yoga expert, talks about the requisite relaxation tips one must adapt in their lifestyle.
Karishma feels that “Yoga is a holistic approach of uniting our mind, body and soul. It is not enough to have a healthy body as one also needs to achieve equanimity of mind and spirit. When we are content and tranquil from inside then life becomes equally refreshing and beautiful from outside,”
She reiterates, “One must practice yoga at least thrice a week. Yoga helps in transforming us as an individual. If you are suffering from hypertension then you must practice Yoga as it decreases blood pressure and keeps the blood flowing throughout the entire body,”
Here are some tips that she shares for maintaining Mental Health in the individuals:
De-Stress – The biggest enemy of our immune system. One that when chronic leaves us in a state of anxiety, anger, depression, frustration, traumas and tumors. The paradox of which paralyzes our emotional, mental and physical health.
• Give yourself a break from social media, friends and family to connect with the essence of who you are.
• Let go of the ideas of success as the world defines it. Sometimes, the strength is not in the hustle, but in taking rests. So, pause, recharge and move to your essential self.
Seek Help – Help is a support and we all live on support from right our birth. Nature supports us in the breath we take and just like this support from fellow beings won’t make you incapable. So, put an antidote to this ego and ask for help.
Meditation and Deep Breathing – Sounds too cliche, right? But, meditate not to stop your thoughts but to accept them. Sit with yourself and the moment you find yourself ruminating around your thoughts; Relax, Release, and Return. Meditation is the basic aspect of Yoga as it strengthens the inner system, reduces anxiety, releases happy hormones, endorphins, reduces fatigue and treats all the other symptoms of stress. One must practice Asanas, Pranayama and Dhyana.
Whenever we are stressed then we are advised to take a deep breath. Deep breathing calms down the brain which in turn sends a message to your body to relax. Whenever we are stressed we will notice that our breathing becomes fast as anxiety increases the heart-rate. Thus we take small breaths instead of a full cycle of rhythmic expansion and contraction of lungs, which in-turn over stimulates our nervous system. This signals our body that it’s stressed. Pranayama means the control of life or energy. It uses breathing techniques to circulate positive energy throughout the entire body.
Breathing exercises such as this one should be done twice a day or whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts or when you are experiencing anxiety. The easiest breathing technique involves sitting in a comfortable up-right position and breathing in and out of your nose as fast as possible with the mouth being firmly closed. There is a risk for hyperventilation that can result in loss of consciousness if this exercise is done too much in the beginning.
Another practice is Diagraph breathing in which by placing one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your stomach. Inhale, taking a deep breath from your abdomen. As you inhale you should feel your stomach rise up. After a short pause, slowly exhale. Your stomach should fall back down as you exhale. You could practice this exercise also for five to ten minutes daily but be extra vigilant about the fact that initially the body must not be forced to this exercise. Start with petite rounds of this exercise and then increase the time. Breathing is a function that we even perform involuntarily thus it’s the basic aspect of any exercise.
Try Journaling – This profound technique brings you closer to your goals, grounds you and lets your heart feel the joy in little wonders of life, ones which we often overlook.
Put an end to emotional eating – Notice, what makes you hungry? What are you hungry for? Is it love, laugh, success, or recognition? Which feeling are you trying to suppress with the food? Observe, because the food would give you only momentarily happiness. So, next time before consuming food in your vulnerable moments, pause, acknowledge the feeling, and stay with your breath for a while.
Movement is medicine – Be active and mobile, our bodies are well adapted to be worked remotely but due to our sedentary lifestyles, we often forget that. We need to take care of our bodies first and then life.
We all either live in the past or in the future, Our life is rarely lived in the present moment. Most of the time our head is replaying past events and conversations, playing stories around how it was, and what all we could have done differently to change our immediate reality. Other times, we worry about the future. What will happen? How will it happen? Will it even happen? Sigh, there is so much clutter!! This clutter is what keeps us stressed. This oscillation between past and future keeps in the flight or fight state with reality.
With an array of options to reduce stress and anxiety in life, it seems the circle of life for many of us will not only take a step ahead but will improve drastically if these points are taken care of while practicing the solutions.