If you overwind your body like a clock it will start to run down. Perhaps, you overwind yourself everyday – if you dash around a lot, work hard to meet impossible deadlines and stay on top of your job, deal with problems at home, and have a demanding schedule.
Some degree of stress can be beneficial and enjoyable and enrich your life, but when it runs dangerously out of control and you can no longer cope with its fall-out, it may lead to physical and psychological problems. Many illnesses are psychosomatic triggered off by some stressful situation or our inability to cope with our everyday pressures.
If this happens to you and you seek help from your doctor, he is quite likely to prescribe a course of tranquilizers to help you but they rarely are the answer, especially if you come to rely on them. They only treat the symptoms of your nervous tension, and not its root cause.
A demanding schedule works up stress and strain to staggering, unmanageable levels. Rather than being taken by surprise, develop the knack of unwinding by facing such situations squarely.
Conscious relaxation, deep breathing and yoga are all the more natural alternatives to drugs, for dealing with stress and learning to unwind. They are good habits to adopt anyway, and will help you monitor stress and cut it out in the early stages.
Most stress is caused by changes and upheavals in our lives at work or at home, in our relationships with partners, friends and family, in moving house or starting a new job. When your body is subjected to stress, it undergoes psychological changes – adrenalin floods your bloodstream, your blood pressure rises, your muscles flex, your heart races, you start to sweat and feel very tense, indeed. Even when these symptoms subside, you may be left feeling fatigued, giddy and anxious, with an aching back or head.
|Stress: Fight this negative emotion|
To make stress work for you, you have to channel it into safe outlets and respond confidently and decisively to stressful situations. In this way, you can avoid some of its more unpleasant symptoms and side-effects.
For many of us, anger or tears are the usual release valves, but if you are the sort of person who bottles up emotion and resentment inside, you may become very unhappy and tense. You need to find a way of releasing this nervous tension and harnessing the positive energy forces of stress, to your own advantage.
Ways of managing and reducing stress:
1) Treat every new stress situation as a challenge and manage it calmly. To do this, you have to remove the stressful areas of your life that re not useful or fulfilling.
Ask yourself whether your work satisfies you. Are there areas you can change for the better?
Look at your life-style, your relationships, your living arrangements – in other words, examine the stressful areas and cancel out the negative ones. You must be positive and realistic, and not attempt to run away from stress.
You are in control of your life and body. You alone can decide on the quality of your life, and to what degree of stress you wish to subject yourself. You can handle it and make an exciting feature of your life as long as you do not allow it to take control of you.
2) Exercise regularly to reduce stress and nervous tension. Many persons have discovered that the hobbies they enjoy can help them to channel their energy intoa physical outlet and add an extra dimension to their lives. Leisure-time interests and sports also play their part in helping you unwind and reducing tension.
If you feel very wound up and tense, why not try something as simple as going for a walk or jog, doing some gardening, experimenting with a new dish or whatever else you enjoy? All these activities will help to take your mind off your problems and enable you to think more clearly and objectively about them.
Regular physical exercise will make you feel more confident and less anxious ad will release negative tension. When you are more in control of your body, you can manage your mind and the negative impact of stress better.
3) Eat a healthy whole-food diet which supplies all the nutrients your body needs to combat stress and make you feel more alert and energetic. A poor diet, that is high in refined food, fats and sugar, may lack essential vitamins and minerals and contribute to fatigue, tension and anxiety.
The B-complex vitamins are particularly important for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Vegetarians should make sure that they get adequate B12 to protect them against insomnia, fatigue and tension. As it is found mostly in meat and animal products, vegetarians may be deficient in this unless they eat eggs, milk and cheese.
Eating a diet that contains plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, whole-grain cereals and legumes and low-fat dairy foods will supply all the nutrients you need.
|Yoga is very effective, but it should be practiced under the supervision of an expert.|
Learn to Relax
4) Special relaxation techniques can induce a relaxed mental and physical state. You can train yourself to relax in this way in order to eliminate any tension from your body.
Just lying down for half an hour is not necessarily relaxing if your mind is in a turmoil. This tension could get transmitted to your body, and you are quite likely to feel tense and stiff when you get up. You need to learn to relax and breathe correctly.
5) Many people find that yoga is an effective and enjoyable way of bringing relief from tension and exercising at the same time. Just 15 minutes of yoga, a day, can help you cope better with the pressures of a stressful job.
Yoga’s devotees claim that it makes you sleep better and feel more energetic, calm and relaxed, with a clear, uncluttered mind. You can channel this new-found energy into other areas of your life – your work, family, sport, exercise and leisure-time interests.
But be careful. Yoga should be practiced under supervision of an expert. It can cause you more harm than good if you go about it yourself after reading some books.
Proceed slowly from one asan to another, and never overlax or overstretch your body. Do not attempt to do the complete posture on the first day. Stop wherever and whenever you find it straining and painful.
(Guest Post by Anuja)
(Guest Post by Anuja)
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