Stress Relief Habits for A Happier, Healthier Life
Ayurveda teaches us preventing a disease is much better than curing one. Stress in our daily lives is inevitable. However, it is not the stress itself but our unhealthy reactions to it that can lead to symptoms such as irritability, headaches, worry, poor focus, upset stomach and frequent colds. The accumulated effects of prolonged stress may lead to insomnia, heart disease, psoriasis, asthma, and even cancer.
Rather than seeing stress itself as a condition, Ayurveda views the negative effects of stress as the root cause of many diseases. Fortunately, Ayurveda gives us many wonderful solutions to help increase our natural ability to deal with stress in a positive way to stop a disease in its tracks before it can manifest.
Each of us reacts to the world around us in our own unique way. The key for handling stress in a healthy way is to pay attention to our inner state of equilibrium. When we take the time to pay attention to ourselves, we can develop strength and a state of calmness to live a happier life.
Notice the effects of stress on you. Regroup and relax into it.
Ayurveda recognizes the powerful impact following a daily routine has in supporting our mind and body. The rhythm of our daily habits gives our nervous system time to relax while building inner resiliency. Here are a few suggestions to add into your daily life as you build your capacity for nourishing and taking care of yourself.
Deep, Mindful Breathing
When you are in a stressful situation, take a moment to take a deep breath. Is this something you can do something about? If so, plan on how to handle it. Is it something you can’t change? Then let it go. Slow and relaxing breathing signals to your mind and body that you are in a safe space. When you notice you are stressed and feeling anxious, tense, or angry, bring your attention to your breath and let it all go.
Stress effects our minds and bodies when we are not living in the present. Practicing mindfulness meditation calms the nervous system and strengthens resiliency, stopping stress from causing you problems to begin with. Your mind has a powerful effect on your body and by bringing tranquility to your mind, you bring harmony to your body. Begin by adding 10 to 20 minutes of sitting quietly and observing your breath in the morning and again in the evening.
As you train your mind to be in the present moment, you will find that you can respond healthily to a stressful situation rather than react in an unhelpful way.
Daily Self Massage
Massaging yourself with oils daily is a simple and wonderful self-care technique called Abhyanga to help prevent and heal disease. It calms the nervous system and your mind and nourishes your body. Simply warm a quarter cup of oil and rub it over your skin in whatever way feels nourishing. Let the oil soak in for a few minutes before you take a warm shower or bath.
There are many types of Ayurvedic herbal oils that are used for Abhyanga. A wonderful oil for abhyanga is Dhanwantaram Oil or you might like Valiya Sahacharadi Oil. Your Ayurvedic practitioner can recommend one that is best for you.
In addition to a full body massage, you might also massage your feet when you are preparing for bed to quiet your mind and help you sleep well. Slip on a pair of socks after you apply the oil. Brahmi Oil is specifically nice for bedtime use.
By learning how you respond and react to the world around you, you are bringing awareness to your own unique ways of staying healthy. Ayurveda is a lifelong journey. Take it one moment at a time. You will feel so much better for it.
Ayurveda offers fantastic, supportive herbal formulas for nourishing your nervous system and increasing your ability to cope with stress.
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