What are the Best Ways to Relieve Stress?
Mental pressure – most popularly known as ‘Stress’ is a common health issue that each person at least once has experienced its bitterness in life. In the modern lifestyle, stress has become a formidable aspect in our life. It starts showing its presence when we begin our life from childhood, schoolings, graduation and later in professional and personal life. It has become an uninvited part in our life.
Some people have acute stress and depressions in life. The best way to treat it is to find the root cause and resolving it. Treating the stress in outer sphere may help such people to feel relieved temporarily. Unless its cause is settled it will grow into power sooner or later.
This is the case of each individual when the stress or depression has the basis in unmet needs. Then, relieving stress doesn’t help you much unless you fulfill the needs of mind (subconscious and conscious) that frequently obsess you.
There are natural, effective and most advanced ways to relieve stress instantly. I am guaranteeing the last two methods since I had experienced its instant benefits.
1. Walking, Swimming or Exercising
I am including walking, swimming and exercising in this list because it’s the best alternative for the people who cannot go for the advanced techniques. These activities are moreover naturally included in our lifestyle.
Go for outdoor walking. Swimming along with having some fun times with friends or family members changes your mood. That’s why some of the people mostly prefer to have their pastime in beaches. It directly or indirectly causes the mind to feel ease and makes comfortable. This will help one to stop reminding the stressful activities in professional life for sometimes.
Doing physical exercises releases endorphins in the body. Do any form of physical exercises and it will certainly help you to keep the stress level at a minimum in your life. Savasana, Dhanurasana, Shirsasana, and Matyasana are the better yoga exercises (asana) to relieve stress. (Read also Kapalbhati – Effective Yoga for Cold, Cough, Head Ache, and Weight Loss)
2. Deep Breathing to Relieve Stress
When we get stressed, our respiration rate, heart rate, and blood pressure increase. Breath is the primal physical activity that is very responsive to the stress. So, it’s recommended to take a deep breath while giving a public speech, presentation or when a person feels tensed or anxious. Its instant effect is obvious to science.
This pranayama technique focuses on regulating breath in a systemized way to relieve the stress. The pranayamic breathing pattern is readily meant to slow down your breath and thus calming down the mind instantly.
It’s difficult for a person to meditate if he is suffering from acute stress. Primarily, lowering the mental waves by physical means is only a viable option. It lowers the mental frequency thus mind becomes fit for meditation. When a person experiences higher mental pressure he is prone to anxiety, less patience in life, and will get easily agitated. He experiences trouble in slowing down his mind mentally.
This form of deep breathing is a simple technique that anyone can practice. It is recommended to do in the morning hours for its better efficacy. Its extended freshness will be experienced throughout the day. In turn, this will also prevent us from getting not much stressed in our daily deeds.
It requires only ten to fifteen minutes in the morning where you really have to dedicate for it. It’s because routine practice will lead to an autopilot where one makes minor mistakes and cause it unworthy.
You can clearly observe the changes when you do it for the first time similar to some of the apparent resistance of drugs in its initial use. It is one of the simple and effective physical techniques I came through.
Step by Step Guide
♦ Sit in sukasana with straight back
♦ Keep your left palm on the right ear covering it such that your major portion of the arm should be on the left portion of the chest. The position of the elbow will be 45 degrees above the navel (diaphragm area).
♦ Place your right palm firmly on the stomach covering the navel area. Notice that your head should be erect throughout the practice.
♦ Now, inhale slowly. Visualize and beware that the rear left side of your chest expands by firmly holding your arm on the left portion of the chest. Concentrate that you are inhaling through the bulging side of your lungs. You should not strain the abdomen, nose or throat. If you are breathing by focusing on the nose you will be making a ssshh sound. Avoid it.
♦ Now release the breath by exhaling gently and slowly.
♦ Repeat it for five times.
♦ You should consider that you are breathing according to your capacity – approximately 4 to 6 seconds.
♦ This technique does not involve counting or retention of breath. You are inhaling and exhaling naturally with a slow phase. Care should be taken that you are not over-straining your lungs.
♦ Repeat the same procedure five times by changing your arms. That is the right arm on the chest and left on the navel.
♦ After that, use your both hands. Firstly, left palm covering right ear as mentioned above and right palm over left ear simultaneously. The rear left and right side of your chest expands by firmly holding your arms. Repeat breathing for five times.
♦ Similarly, place your right palm over right ear and left palm over the left ear. Note that your folded arms are aligned horizontally with the shoulder in a straight line slightly positioned upwards. Inhale and exhale for five times. Here your whole chest is involved.
♦ Place your right palm over the closed right eye and left palm over the left eye. Rest of your arms lay firmly on the cheat. The arms will be placed such a way that they are touching each other from elbow to tip of the small finger. Repeat breathing as above. Now concentrate on your upper part of your lungs as it stretches while inhaling where the remaining parts remain normal.
This pranayama technique is revitalized by Vethathiri Maharishi according to the modern lifestyle that can be included in our routine practice. Apart from relieving stress, this form has major other benefits related to respiratory issues, hypertension, anxiety, and sleep disorders. It rejuvenates the body and increases the blood circulation.
3. Spiritual Meditation
It comes under advanced yoga practices. There are also other effective forms such as mindfulness, Mahamudra meditation vipassana meditation, Sudarshan kriya, or guided meditation according to the seeker’s convenience.
♦ Sit in padmasana, siddhasana, or sukasana and prepare the body and mind for meditation. If possible use padmasana posture because it has particular benefits in meditation as I said in the article ‘Why is Padmasana Best Posture for Meditation?’
♦ Initially, meditate on the third eye for 10 to 15 minutes. Your mind will be slowly subdued. (Read also How to Do Third Eye Meditation?)
♦ Raise your awareness to the crown chakra. Aware the presence of spiritual energy, remain firmly by continuously focusing on it for 3 to 5 minutes without any break (no distracting thoughts, just observe its radiance).
♦ Slowly you will step into a semi-trance state.
♦ You will not be fully aware of the external world. Yet, you will be subjected to external disturbances as you are in a dream.
♦ Spontaneous jiggling or jerking of the body will occur for a moment. It shouldn’t disturb your semi-trance state. As I told before if you are in padmasana posture you will not be disturbed or else your body loses balance.
“Allow the shaking, don’t do it. Stand silently, feel it coming, and when your body starts little trembling, help it – but don’t do it. Enjoy it, feel blissful about it, welcome it, but don’t wait for it. If you force it, it will become an exercise, a bodily physical exercise. Then the shaking will be there but just on the surface, it will not penetrate you. You will remain solid, rock-like within, you will remain a manipulator, the doer, and body will just be following. The body is not the question – you are the question.” - Osho.
♦ The jerking may happen once or twice in a meditation on depending on your blockages and stresses. This will happen only in deep meditation. The beginners experience more jerking and lessen when you develop more mental strength. (Read also 3 Most Powerful Meditation Techniques in the World)
♦ Later, return to the normal state slowly. Now you feel as relaxed as that you’d wake up from a deep sleep. The accumulated stresses get completely released instantly.
Now you are a fresh person, feeling energetic, and rejoice greater level of enthusiasm in life.