Balance is the most sought-after commodity of the 21st century. And while the rat race continues, people become so caught up in the frenzy that there isn’t enough time to catch one’s breath.
There are ways to adjust to life and its demands while still maintaining a semblance of peace and quiet. Thus, above the din and chatter, the noise and clutter, there is balance and order.
One can manage it by taking concrete measures for coping.
Beyond just surviving, there is hopeful living.
Perhaps this is one of the strongest arguments for taking a vacation—an urgent need to take a break from stress. But did it ever occur to you that vacations can be stressful? This, because after the so-called adventure, one requires a vacation from the vacation!
Whether you’re on the road this summer or not, there are strategies to preserve one’s sense of calm even amidst chaos.
The 3-minute awareness. This is all you need for starters. Practice the art of focusing on one sensation at the moment.
Take a walk and pick any of your senses—sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste. For example, if it is the sense of sight, see whatever you are looking at with the eyes of your body, mind and heart—whether it be a tree, a flower, etc.
Heighten your sense of awareness. This has a calming effect. As you get the hang of it, increase this to five minutes of quiet focus.
Pray and meditate. Devote sufficient time for prayer and meditation—15-20 minutes a day. Devotional prayer is enough to quiet the mind and calm the spirit.
And with mindful breathing exercises, you can achieve greater calm. You will emerge strong enough to weather the day’s many challenges.
Inhale in five counts, hold two counts, then exhale five counts. Repeat 30 times. This is a proven exercise for calming a restless mind.
Lie down or sit back comfortably. Keep still and use your mind to search for the weariness of your body. Once you find tightness, release the tension by keeping still. Stay focused on the sore spot. Relax your muscle.
Warm and cold compress. If it’s a mild headache, apply cold compress on your head. Close your eyes. Be still for 10 minutes.
If there is tightness in your lower back, apply a warm compress on it for 15 minutes.
Tune up. Choose the melody and tune into your favorite music. Sing out loud to release steam.
Move it. Any form of exercise helps to destress. It fights depression.
Laugh it off. Life can be serious enough, don’t add to its heaviness. Learn how to smile before you laugh out loud. Laughing helps you relieve stress. It releases feel-good hormones and relaxes the muscles instantaneously.
Replace a frown with a smile. Look at yourself in the mirror. Practice smiling. You need more muscles to frown than to smile. A smiling face is so much more agreeable to see than a frowning one.
Each time you feel that you are getting irritable, intercept your mind immediately. Order yourself to stop it. Tell yourself, “Don’t go there.” This is an effective mind interceptor. You can influence your thoughts by just anticipating them.
Water therapy. Splash your face and body with water. If at times you believe that you are not in control, take immediate action by using water therapy as a means to stay cool, physically and mentally.
In fact, shock therapy using an ice-cold water splash on the face and neck is enough to make you snap out of it. A dull mood requires the ice-cold treatment.
Jump for joy. In order to simulate joy, be a kid again by jumping like you did as a child. Jump from your bed or a rebounder or trampoline. Jump 10 times as a beginner, then advance to 100 jumps a day.
Practice generosity. Give something to someone today, whether it’s your time, attention or cheerfulness. Do something nice for somebody in need.
There are also soothing drinks that can lower your stress levels. Stay away from high-energy beverages if you want to calm down.
Relaxing teas—chamomile, valerian root, lemon balm, passion flower
Decaffeinated green tea —minus the caffeine, green tea has thiamine, which has a calming benefit.
Warm milk—tryptophan in milk has relaxing power.
This week’s affirmation: “I have a giving heart.”
Love and light!