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Natural Ways to Calm and De-stress Yourself

By Nikhil Kapur, Ironman Triathlete and Founder Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre
16, JUN, 2020

A wise old man once said that he lived till 100 years since he slept on the days when he should have been awake and worrying. Stress is as old as Humanity and yes, it’s the opposite of the body’s relaxing mechanism. However, all of it is not bad. Short intermittent stress can be called good stress as it helps us to be motivated, reach our goals, survive, and even excel. But when stress checks into our minds & bodies as a long-term guest, it upset the natural rhythm of the body – we eat more, we sleep less, don’t prioritize, and so on. This chronic stress has undesired effects in all dimensions.  

Key reasons that people attribute their stress to is finances and work. Today, however, the problem of stress has accelerated due to social media and electronic communication. An integrated approach towards life is the natural way to calm and destress. Before I share with you what an integrated approach looks like, let me highlight the 2 activities that I have started doing to calm myself/des-tress. The first one is being mindful and not trying to multiplex all the time. This helps in giving quality time to the person/task/issue at hand. Incidentally, spending time with my son is a sure-shot way for me to relax but there are days when I get to spend less time with him. I observed that even if I have 5 mins and I am mindful in those minutes listening/interacting/being with him, the quality of interaction was rich, our bond remains strong & I felt calm. 

The 2nd activity is something that started off as a search for a better understanding of our Hindu scriptures and I have only taken baby steps in this direction. However, I must share with you all that in our ancient scriptures like the Vedanta & Bhagavad Gita, there are solutions to problems that we face in our modern-day life. Understanding and following these principles is a sure-shot way of combating stress. These learning are imparted by many schools in India and learnings apply to people from all faiths. Incidentally, Mahatma Gandhi referred to the Bhagavad Gita as the dictionary of Life. 

Lord Shri Krishna says 

tasmad apriharye’rthe na tvam shochitum arhasi” (Do not worry about things that are inevitable) 

Most of the time the stress is just an outcome of our own stupidity, and therefore the solution also lies in the proper use of our intellect. 

Being calm and making sure that we de-stress requires a multi-pronged approach. Here are some tips that are known to work: 

  • Work schedule: prioritize activities so that you are not always rushed
  • Sleep: get good sleep (at the same time & of the same duration every night) 
  • Workout: some light cardio exercise including brisk walking OR Yoga (especially the pranayama). Or pursue other activities that help you relax as these helps you become mentally and physically strong. 
  • Meditation: will help you relax and studies show that meditation reduces the systolic (upper value) blood pressure by 5 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more. The practice of meditation blocks the effect of norepinephrine, an “emergency” hormone that raises the blood pressure and increases the heart rate. 
  • Food: long term stress often makes us crave for more food. Hence, keep a watchful eye and avoid sugary food, aerated drinks, packaged snacks, etc. 
  • Social health: Hang out with close friends and family, confide in them and they might offer solutions that we don’t see
  • Be disciplined in the usage of your device/electronics

At Atmantan, we offer various health retreats to improve mental health that will help you manage your stress better and be the best version of yourself.  Our team of expert doctors, chefs, and fitness trainers ensure that you have a holistic experience during your stay with us. More details about our offerings can be found here.