Heightened stress is the bane of modern living. Ironically, despite the many advantages technology offers in making life simpler and more convenient for all of us, we find ourselves living more uncomfortable, complex lives with hardly enough time left for relaxation. Because of the speed and frequency whereby we are bombarded by the various demands of our work and personal relationships, increased stress has become our constant albeit unwanted companion.
The result: We run a greater risk of acquiring a variety of diseases both physiological and psychological in nature.
One efficient method of combating stress is through relaxation--a natural process inherent in all of us. Varied relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation instantaneously trigger our bodies' innate relaxation response. Practising any of them regularly enables us to cope with stress on the spot. On a broad spectrum, they contribute to the improvement of our overall emotional well-being, reducing our susceptibility to depression and anxiety by making us more calm and cheerful. But apart from these commonly known stress reduction techniques, there are certain typical activities we do out of inclination or habit that automatically relax us and promote a more positive frame of mind without our being conscious of how they impact us. Delighting in them regularly, we regain our emotional equilibrium, helping us get back into that more optimistic, peaceful, and harmonious side of our selves. Let us identify them:
*Strolling as we enjoy the beauty of our surroundings When was the last time we have taken a leisurely walk around the park or neighbourhood? Taking time to take in the beauty of our surroundings as our bodies benefit from the exercise of walking does tremendous good not only for our senses but also for our minds. Because of the fast paced life imposed on us, we hardly have the time to appreciate these natural pleasures found in the beauty of our surroundings and obtain their calming benefits, which all of us can readily acquire any time we please.
*Indulging our curiosity Curiosity is the initiator that propels us toward success. And this is one of the gifts all humans are endowed with. Indulging our curiosity by studying things or aspects that interest us automatically relaxes us without us knowing it.
*Enjoying music Music is said to be the language of the soul. And whether that language is something we can comprehend or not, the soothing benefits of music immediately work their way into our psyche, affording us a much-needed escape from troublesome thoughts.
*Remaining still As ludicrous as this may sound, these days remaining still without thinking of anything has become a luxury most of us find difficult to afford due to the many worries preoccupying our minds. Meditating is a formal term we use for clearing our thoughts, which segues to relaxation. Once we are relaxed, we become in tune to our surroundings and oblivious of our own thoughts, which instantaneously de-stresses us.
*Allowing creativity to take over Whether we express our creativity through painting, composing songs, dancing, or writing poems; all these serve as our emotional outlets that trigger our natural de-stressing response. One we release pent up emotions, we release stress and become relaxed.
*Feeding our spirituality Having a spiritual belief system is a human necessity. We are not physical creatures alone. The spiritual side of our nature is deeply connected to our emotional and psychological aspects, whereby each one is a reflection of the other. Whatever our spiritual beliefs may be, performing activities or rituals catering to our spirituality automatically rids us off the inner turmoil we have, which in turn translates to releasing burdensome stress.
*Bonding with our loved ones No man is an island. Forming meaningful relationships is an integral aspect of our being that serves both our emotional and psychological needs. Thus, isolation from others makes us susceptible to loneliness and depression. Spending quality time with our loved ones (family and friends) works to uplift our moods and promotes good emotional health. Whether we are just hanging out with them or crying our eyes out on their shoulders, the good feeling we obtain from the companionship and support we get from them strengthen us spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.