Calming Ways to Spend Your Time

Gibbon wrote in praise of Boethius ,”the sage who could artfully combine in the same work, the various riches of philosophy, poetry, and eloquence ,must already have possessed the intrepid calmness ,which he affected to seek.” 

In the rush to be more stable financially, we tend to ignore what really is important: HEALTH. Not only Physically, one should be healthy mentally too! We eat well. We earn well. But how many of us sleep well? When do we experience the REAL MENTAL PEACE: THE CALMNESS?

According to large population-based surveys, up to 33.7% of the population are affected by an anxiety disorder, during their lifetime. Why be calm? The individual who is at peace with himself or calm, his brain will produce “good” hormones. It will give the person a stable emotional state. It shall further promote good health in every area of life. A person who is not calm and remains anxious or in any kind of mental stress badly affects his physical surroundings also. Therefore, it becomes the topmost priority to understand the importance of STAYING CALM and keeping your cool.  Amid the tight and tiring schedules, the adults have, here are calming ways to spend your time.

Simple Steps Each Day-After having an exhaustive and tiring week, one needs to calm, and chill. 

THE SABBATH DAY- In older times, the seventh day of the week was known as the Sabbath. A day off. Do it. Renew your batteries on this day. 

FAMILY – Spend some quality time with family. It will give you happiness and relaxation.

HOBBY- Develop a new hobby or revisit an old one! When we do so we are diverting our office minds to something artistic. We feel more hopeful and it calms our nerves too.

Walk without gadgets– Take a walk in the garden in the morning or in the evening. In the lap of nature, listening to the chirping birds and cool breeze we automatically feel very calm. Our mind is more at rest. Just remember to keep your phone back at home. Carry no anxiety in your pocket.

Eat healthy- When you eat healthy you think healthy. Spend more on green leafy vegetables than on a pizza. Salt used in junk food can increase blood pressure and cause bloating. It causes irritation too and the person feels uneasy.

Be Kind to yourself- Tell yourself kind words. Break the cycle of negative thoughts. Praise yourself by saying true things, like: I am full of gratitude, I am very empathetic etc. And whenever you notice your thoughts veering to self-criticism, repeat it silently.

Watch clouds- Watch clouds for five minutes. When the grey clouds move underneath a blue beautiful sky is revealed. Similarly, our thoughts also get clear and we feel less puzzled. There is a change of mind when we see the heart shape-changing to an icecream. We are distracted from the topics which stress us. 

Do something you avoid- Do something you have been avoiding lately. Resistance causes stress, just like dragging an anchor behind a boat. Pay your bills or fix the hanger in your bathroom. Anything you have been avoiding lately. It is not just for the sake of doing it. It unburdens your mind. And you feel relaxed and calm. 

Bringing these simple rituals into your weeks will help you reduce stress, connect with your more creative side and feel far happier and calmer in every role of life.

COPING WITH ANXIETY, ADULTS!

We become anxious- sometimes handling work demands, family issues, or some personal health issues! It becomes very necessary to take care of our mental health. 

“Some degree of anxiety is normal and even necessary,” Dr. Ann Epstein, a psychiatrist at Harvard -affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance and medical editor of the Harvard Special Health Report Coping with Anxiety and Stress. “Anxiety signals us that something is awry or might need attention. However, you don’t want the response to become exaggerated or to dominate your life,” she adds.

There are some ways one can cope up with his anxiety.

    • Eat healthy. Do something you enjoy doing: cooking, reading your favorite book, do gardening. It helps your brain function in another direction in a better way, away from stress.
    •  Write it down! Write down about what worries you, the reasoning your peace of mind is disturbed. Many people find that just by articulating their cares provides some relief. 
    • Blow bubbles.  The deep breathing required to blow bubbles is great for relaxing and stress relief, especially when you feel anxious.  
    • Take in the fresh air. Research showed that, out of the, 1,000 people polled, 53.3% said that spending time outdoors in the fresh air makes them feel better when they are suffering from anxiety and stress. 
    • Exercise. Further, 35% of the people polled said that exercise calmed them down during the time of angst, nervousness, and low mood. Stated above are some medically reviewed ways to reduce anxiety, stress; how to feel good and calm. 

Calming YOGA exercises-

Practice calming exercises. It has many benefits, including slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, slowing breathing rate. The flow of blood increases when we are relaxed. It helps us to have a clearer and calmer mind which aids positive thinking, concentration, memory, and decision making.

Abdominal Breathing Exercise- 

The technique of abdominal breathing can be really helpful before experiencing a particularly stressful event like taking an exam or any office meeting. How to perform it: Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Take a deep breath from your nose, allowing diaphragm and not your chest and inflate to create a stretching sensation in your lungs. Exhale slowly. Take 6-10deep, slow breath per minute for 10 minutes each day using this breathing exercise. It reduces your heart rate and blood pressure. Calms you down. Keep doing it for 6-8 weeks and notice long term benefits.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama /Alternate Nostril Breathing –

Nadi is a Sanskrit word, meaning “flow” or “channel” or  “Shodhana” means “purification”.

This aims at clearing and purifying the subtle channels of the mind-body organism. It lowers the stress and maintains a good cardio-vascular functioning. It helps you to focus and reenergize. 

How to do it: Gently close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through your left nose. Then close your left nose with your ring little fingers. Open and exhale slowly through your right nostril. Keep the right nostril open, inhale then close it and open and exhale through the left.

7-2-11 Relaxing Breathe

This is an exercise for handling the stressful moments of the day. How to do it: on the inhale we inhale slowly through the nose through the count of 7, retain/ hold your breath till the count of 2, and while we release exhale to the count of eleven with a slow ‘whooosh’ sound out of the mouth.  Practice it every day for 4-8 rounds. This is calming magic whenever you want.

Brahmari- Humming bee breath

This pranayama calms and quiets the mind. It releases cerebral tension. Doing this relieves one from stress and anxiety and dissipates anger. How to do it: Sit quietly in a well-ventilated space and close your eyes. Sit with your back straight and legs crossed. Place your index fingers on the ears, at the cartilages. Breathe in through your nose and while inhaling press the cartilage with your fingers. Inhale and exhale while continuing the same pattern for around 6-7 times.
Alternate nostril breath/ Anulom Vilom-

“Subtle energy clearing breathing technique”. It is done to help you quiet and still your mind. Left nostril breathing for 5 minutes can calm you and lower your blood pressure. Breathing through the left nostril stimulates the feminine aspects of the body. While the right nose stimulates the masculine functions of the left brain through the Pingala Nadi.  How to perform it: Sit in a comfortable position with the legs crossed. Straighten your back. Inhale fully and deeply, then gently and slowly exhale. Fold the tips of the index and the middle fingers inward until they touch the palm at the base of your thumb .Close the right nostril with your right thumb and pinky fingers and the right ring together to close the left nose. Exhale slowly, but fully through the left nostril. Keep the right nostril closed, inhale through the left nostril deep into the belly. While inhaling allow the breath to travel upward along the left part of the body. Pause for a moment at the crown of the head. 

Now use the ring and pinky fingers of the right hand to gently close the left nostril and simultaneously exhale the right nostril. Give it a gentle pause at the bottom of the exhalation. Repeat the same process. It completes with the one round of alternate nostril breathing. If you want to sleep well at night, this yoga exercise can also be done while lying in bed. This exercise is highly rewarding as it helps to balance the hormones also.

Skull shining breath /Kapalabhati –

Practicing skull shining breath helps to remove any blockages in the lungs and hearts. It also increases the blood supply to various parts of the body. 

How to do it: sit comfortably with the back upright and legs crossed. Keep your hand on the knees. Slowly inhale through your nose. Now exhale powerfully, also through the nose. Do it by contracting your lower belly. Once comfortable with the abdomen’s contractions component, do it for one inhale-exhale for every 2 seconds. Do it for the ten breaths.

Do it daily to keep up your mental health and also maintain cardiovascular health.

Stay calm and do exercise! All feel anxious and that is normal. Regular anxiety can lead to more productivity of a person. But, one should not lose the calm of the body and take care of oneself. Whenever you feel like symptoms are increasing seek professional help. Remember EXERCISE costs not a single penny. Still, one may follow the above-stated techniques for stress relief and staying calm.

 

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