INTEGRATING EASTERN AND WESTERN PRACTICES
Stress is a common factor that affects all of us. But, if you want to compare the stress management techniques of Eastern and Western cultures, we will find Eastern countries have much more effective techniques for managing stress. There are important holistic life-controlling practices in Eastern culture that Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, Shankaracharya, and many more taught about that are still being used today.
Holistic stress management dives into the mental and emotional parts of our brain that are responsible for arousing stress and anxiety.
Holistic stress management helps you get an insight into your inner self and allows you to be aware of the underlying problems bringing you stress. When you treat the root cause, the mechanisms for relief will follow. Moreover, this type of stress management focuses on both chronic and acute stress related to your physical being.
- Chronic stress may refer to some chronic pain, inflammation, illness, or addiction
- Acute stress may be getting too little sleep, too much or too little exercise, poor diet, or illness
But when you support your body by practicing the principles of healthy living and wellness, the stress load is lightened. The other side is the challenges you face on your mental front. You are constantly bombarded with situations challenging your sense of control, security, and self-worth. You may also have to fight with your inner voice that criticizes, pushes, and holds you prisoner to past and future worries. So, when you are able to balance these stressful situations with your inner self, you can adapt to the natural methods rather than going for pills or consulting a counselor.
A holistic approach is the combination of dietary and lifestyle amendments for effective stress management.
- DIETARY TIPS
- Fermented foods
Healthy gut flora is a great assistance in reducing anxiety and stress. Consuming fermented foods is an effective way of introducing probiotics to the gut on a regular basis. These probiotics are the key to the production of serotonin and thus, have a positive effect on your mood and stress reduction. For better results, choose to prefer sugar-based and vegetable-based fermented products as they are best for both gut and brain health. Yogurt, miso, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir are some good examples of probiotic-rich foods.
- Protein-rich foods
Including protein-rich foods in every meal helps to balance blood sugar levels, which is a great way of taking off stress. They also provide tryptophan, an essential amino acid present mostly in seed-based proteins such as pumpkin seeds. Tryptophan supports mood as it is a precursor of serotonin and melatonin, inducing stress relief and uninterrupted sleep. Since this amino acid is not produced by your body it has to be obtained from protein sources. Helping you get the satiety feeling is also one impact of protein-packed meals and snacks. Limit the sugary, processed foods which can trigger anxiety and depression. The good sources of protein essential for your mental health are chicken, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and soybeans.
- Omega-3 essential fats
People taking high doses of omega-3s (up to 2000mg a day) seem to have a reduction in anxiety symptoms. Omega-3 oils are effective in stabilizing mood and enhancing the efficiency of antidepressants. They can increase the brain’s serotonin levels, simultaneously improving normal cognitive functions and the propensity for prosocial behavior. However, many foods like wild salmon, sardines, sprouted chia, and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- KEEPING YOURSELF HYDRATED
Water is seen to have natural calming properties. Drinking enough water i.e. 6-8 glasses a day helps in effective stress management. Conversely, drinking less than two cups per day doubles the risk of mental problems. For more understanding, water triggers your parasympathetic nervous system which can further assist the body’s rest and digest response.
There’s a water trick also which can be used next time you feel anxious. Plunge your face in a large bowl filled with icy cold water holding your breath for 30 seconds. This activity will calm your mind instantly. For drinking purposes, water can be replaced with stress-relieving beverages: coconut water, ginger juice, chamomile tea, fresh mixed fruit, and vegetable juices.
Meditation helps to focus on staying centered and securing your inner peace. Some more benefits of meditation are:
- Gain a positive perspective on stressful situations
- Raise self-awareness
- Be mindful and focus on the present
- Reduce negative emotions
- Increase patience
- Enhance sleep quality
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Being active can anyways act as a stress reliever as it helps boost your feel-good endorphins. Virtually, any form of exercise, whether aerobics or yoga can help you fight anxiety and stress. So, get involved in at least a little exercise every day as it will go a long way toward effective stress management. Here are some steps to start a new workout routine with ease.
- Add it to your routine. Commit to walking during your lunch three times a week or try online fitness videos at home in the morning.
- Find a friend who will go to the gym or park with you. This will give you a new level of motivation and commitment to your workout.
- Exercise in small sets. For instance, if a 30-minute walk looks too much, try a 10-minute walk.
A holistic approach to effective stress management helps you do the emotional digging along with improving your lifestyle. This will therefore build a strong foundation on which you can live your best life. Download the JOYSCORE app to learn an improved and positive way of living.
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