Stress Reduction Routine
"Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it." - Kahlil Gibran
Stress is something many people find themselves struggling with during this time of isolation and some are getting defeated by it. With full transparency, I had a week long slump where I knew I didn't feel like myself, but I had absolutely no clue how to get myself out. Stress and worry left me unmotivated and on the brink of depression. Many also don't have complete knowledge of how many areas of your life stress can effect as well. Stress negatively effects your sleep schedule, your mindset, and even how you fuel your body and your nutrition. Stress by definition is "a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension" - Medicinenet.com. So stress is purely our body's reaction to outward challenges that require psychological tension to grow within us. So how do you begin to change your body's reactions to these challenges? There are steps that with your dedication will show the improvement you may seek.
Begin With The Mind
Much of the challenge of stress is what your mind and your thoughts are telling you about your current situation. If you begin to control your influence within your mind the rest of your body will follow. The first step that I strongly encourage is Deep Breathing, whether that be some time dedicated in the morning towards it or just before you lay down to go to sleep. Deep breathing requires you to center your thoughts and focus on the release of tension through letting your body go. I know from personal experience, if you are intentional about how focused you make your breathing, you will literally feel a release, it requires you to slow down and find a center. Once you begin your deep breathing you can move onto the next step of doing some Stretching or Yoga.
Yoga, much like deep breathing, makes you focus on every tension throughout your body, finding that center, and stretching that area out. Also, through some of it's intricate poses, you must find some control within what you're doing, or you will either not be able to complete that pose, or you'll just simply, fall. As stated before, stress is a fear of not being in control, with applying control within your stretching, you'll begin to find control in your situation. And of course, moving into the last point of my routine, you can't find much focus or release if you're surrounded by a bunch of distracting noises. So, to bring completion to the previous points, you find some Calming Music whether that be classical, rain sounds, gospel, or even some R&B, old or new.
Music has been proven to have effect on emotions and your brain. A prime example is when you're going through a sad time or need encouragement in your situation, you may tend to listen to sad music or some gospel music to bring you out of whatever slump you may be in. So the same goes for stress relief, you have to listen to music that will benefit that release of tension. What I personally like to do is listen to some classical music before I go to sleep, and I've found that it calms my nerves, centers my focus, and allows me to fall asleep faster. I've also found that the music I choose to end my nights with has the most immediate effects on how I wake up the next morning and how I carry on through the rest of the week. That change in what I was allowing my ears to listen too and my brain to register brought me out of the slump I didn't even realize I was slipping into.
I know that I may have just explained that in a way of easier said then done, but I promise you, if you take the time to focus more intently on how you're treating your brain and your emotions, they will improve. The more you take care of the control center of your body, your Brain, it will transfer to all the other areas of your life. The reason many of us feel that we're stuck in life or without direction is because we've allowed our thoughts and emotions to tell us those false assumptions. If you train your brain to control the drastic highs and lows you may feel, you'll see the change, you'll accomplish more, and your life will be filled with more satisfaction with what each day has to offer. "Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." - Ovid