MIND

Five Ways To Relax Yourself In Stressful Situations

Stand like Wonder Woman or plan a goodbye handshake—coping mechanisms of stress are as varied as their causes. How many of these can you relate with?

By DEBASHRUTI BANERJEE

Whether as a necessity or as an accident, we all have to face certain difficult and nerve-wracking situations in our day-to-day journeys. Though we may not be able to predict or bypass them completely, there might be little things we can do to make the experience easier to cope with. Here are five common contributing incidents of stress and research-backed ways to deal with them.

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1. Pre-wedding jitters:

 

Be it a five-day extravaganza or a post-COVID intimate event, weddings are a life-altering event. Even if you're not planning a big, expensive party, you're still beginning a new phase of your life and some extent of stress is not only common, but natural. Take a step back and breathe. Begin your big day with mindfulness. Indulge in a quick,calming meditation session. Not only has meditation been proven to improve psychological and physiological health, it can also improve harmony in your relationship. The best part? There is no one way to meditate—take a walk, listen to music or guided flows, practice breathing techniques or even lay down for a few minutes to reorient yourself.

 

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2. Job interviews:

Gearing up for an interview or an exam? Your body language plays as important a part as your merit when it comes to presenting yourself to others. The next time your nerves are bunched up before an evaluation, try doing a power pose. Put your hands on your hips and stand tall for a couple of minutes before walking in the interview, your favourite superhero-style. That's right, this seemingly juvenile technique has been proven by a 2012 Harvard University study to increase testosterone and decrease cortisol levels in your body, thereby giving your confidence a quick boost.

3. Shifting homes:

Raise your hands if you thought shifting was going to be as romantic as they showed it in Wake Up Sid, but then got a terrible reality check. Financial anxiety, the exhaustion of packing and moving in and the uncertainty of settling in a new place—all of this is enough to take a toll on your well-being. Relocation depression is a real thing that can get masked in the initial frenzy of moving, says a 2016 study in the Social Indicators Research journal. How to make it easier? Do your research, declutter and do not be afraid to ask for help. Leaving your old home can also be emotional, so take your time to say goodbye and make future plans with your friends and family to make the transition easier. Getting involved in new activities, having a routine and decorating your new place can also elevate your mood.

 

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4. Separation anxiety:

It's difficult being apart from your near ones, and for some, it can lead to separation anxiety. Though also seen in adults, separation anxiety is more commonly found in children. A 2009 paper in the Psicologia Conductual journal suggests that "While considered a normative phenomenon in early childhood, separation anxiety has the potential to negatively impact a child’s social and emotional functioning when it leads to avoidance of certain places, activities and experiences that are necessary for healthy development". Whether you have to leave for work or they have to attend school, some ways to make separation easier is to build a consistent and quick goodbye routine and teach them to spend meaningful time away from you (playdates, extracurricular activities etc).

 

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5. Trauma from physical injury:

Did you know that up to 45 percent of people who go through a traumatic injury or chronic pain can experience acute stress? Unfortunately, these are unpleasant but not uncommon parts of daily life and can happen to most of us to some extent. Medical bills, disrupted personal and professional lives or lack of social and familial support can also contribute to this stress response. While the pain management depends on sticking to physiotherapy and your doctor's instructions, research suggests that aromatherapy is a cheap, non-invasive and quick way to calm your nerves. In a study of Intensive Care Unit Patients, a 2017 Evidence Based Complementary And Alternative Medicine paper found that deep breathing with essential oils alleviated stress and improved sleep quality. If you don't have a diffuser, you can try putting a few drops of essential oils on your pillow, or in a bath.

 

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