Stress, mental tension, fears and anxiety seem to have become a part of modern-day life. As we know, in the long term, these negative feelings can contribute to many ailments of both body and mind. We cannot take away stressful situations, because we have to live our day-to-day life, go to work, travel on busy roads and deal with various other problems. Long-term stress can affect the body and mind in a number of ways. For example, there can be an increase in the level of cholesterol or fatty acids in the blood, raised blood pressure, etc.
How To Get Rid Of Stress?
Here are some tips to live a stress-free life:
Stress occurs daily, so we should adopt some ways to get rid of it on a daily basis. Yoga, with deep breathing, is ideal. It leaves you renewed and ready to face the next challenge. The best part about Yoga is that it can be easily adapted to our modern lifestyle. Daily exercise helps us to counteract the effects of stress, both physically and mentally. Physical activity helps to use up the excess adrenaline, which is released during stress. It also helps to remove feelings of frustration, anxiety and fears. It helps to feel more positive about life. A brisk walk is ideal. To walk "briskly" and really benefit from it, you need to walk for at least half an hour. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise.
You can combine stretching exercises with walking. Jogging, swimming, skipping, and cycling are all excellent exercises, but again, it is important to consult your doctor before taking them up. Deep breathing exercises and yogic asanas are very helpful in coping with negativity. Lie down and take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly and rhythmically. Then allow the body to relax totally. Concentrate on relaxing the body. Feel the tensions in various areas and allow these to relax. For instance, while lying down, lift the arms and legs a few inches and let them flop down.
Fresh, organic foods are recommended by Ayurveda so that the body is supplied with nutrients. They not only contribute to good health but give the skin a radiant glow. The general feeling of well-being and vitality actually improves the mental outlook, helps the body to cope with stress, boosts self-confidence and adds a zest to life. Ayurveda advocates a diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed cereals, sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, and yoghurt, which can make one look and feel much better. The vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in natural foods are extremely essential to the immune system too, protecting the body from disease, degeneration and premature ageing. The diet should provide enough bulk to keep the digestive tract cleansed of toxins and wastes.
Adequate and regular sleep is very important to reduce stress. During sleep, the body is most relaxed and the essential body processes slow down. This is when the repair and restoration process goes on and the renewal of new cells speeds up.
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One can go for facial and body massages or spa treatments to bring about relaxation. Facial and body massages have great benefits in this respect. In fact, a foot massage is ideal for removing fatigue and reducing stress. Massage induces relaxation, stimulates blood circulation and helps in removing toxins and wastes.
You can also give yourself a light massage of the head, using only the fingertips and small rotary movements. Use oils containing Brahmi and Bhringaraj. Both these herbs reduce stress and bring about relaxation.
(This article is authored by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations.)