Life can be so demanding and just tiring right? I don’t know about you but living in the city or even just in this world can seem a bit too hectic at times without even needing to step out of the house. I feel technology has a huge part to play in this and also how we organise our time.
If you ask anyone why they’re under stress most of the week, what answer to you expect to get? ‘I have so much work to do, deadlines to meet, tasks to be completed, preparing for the new launch etc’
I can’t even address this subject, as if i’ve mastered the art of living a stress-free life that still has purpose, as I haven’t, and its still something i’m learning to do for my own health benefits and wellbeing, but I can say things have defiantly improved from this time last year and I’m able to prioritise the important over urgent, making time for my wellbeing.
We’ve learnt to take stress as a way of life. Very few of us think about why we are trying to work at such a hectic pace and if ultimately, we are going to leave this world with a lot of incomplete work, why not at least work in a relaxed way?
I always thing to myself, what is the use of working so much, if we kill all the joy? In search of a better tomorrow we kill the present.
Stressed work environment, stressed family life, no time to just walk around, doing nothing, watching the nature around us…. why? It’s as if we want to achieve most in the shortest possible time and therefore having no time to relax, working non-stop all week and even weekends has become a new way of living for the majority of us, especially in the city.
So how do we stay stress-free exactly? Well the truth is stress is natural and maybe you can’t be stress free when you live a busy life that you can’t afford to set back, but stress is and can be managed, it doesn’t have to run your life dry or cause fatigue and motivational decline. We need to start looking at ways we can be more in control of our stressed out lives.
In common terminology, relaxation means we leave ourselves free of tension, relaxing our minds. Most of us believe we should be under pressure and overly active on weekdays and only ‘relax on weekends’ not saying this is wrong but high levels of stress and pressure isn’t beneficial for everyones wellbeing, especially if like myself you suffer from any hormonal imbalance issues, stress can just make it worse!
I’ve recently started to apply the art of relaxation into my daily life by learning to just slow down and unplug every so often. My new job is just down the road from my house, about a 20mins walk that I do there and back through the park. I’m becoming more conscious of my breathing and emotions, trying to sleep better and be more silent, spending meaningful time alone and with others.
Relaxing doesn’t mean doing nothing or sleeping all day (but that can be a way to relax too) I believe that to relax and be relaxed means you’re more in control of you and how your body operates in different situations everyday, being able to step back, slow down, observe and fully be present in the moment without stress.
Living a more relaxed life is something I hope to maintain and improve on. Remember stress is the main cause of many chronic illnesses, such as depression, heart disease, diabetes, headaches and many more.
These are 3 basic methods that helped me move away from a stressful life and mindset. I am now becoming more life conscious about the decisions I’m making that benefit my wellbeing.
1. WALKING MORE
Walking a minimum of 30mins every day has really helped me centre my mind and focus on the day or any tasks at hand. I usually work to and from the gym which is 20mins door to door. I also walk with my friend anywhere between 30mins to and hour on a weekly basis.
Being into fitness, I can’t stress the importance of walking enough. From a young age walking was the best way of transport and exercise for me, while actually getting to see the beauty of my surroundings.
There was an article on Huffington post a few years ago for national walking day, on ways walking helps to relieve stress. One of my favourite points was number 5. Walking Boosts Energy And Reduces Fatigue. I use to say ‘I’m too tired to walk, don’t have enough energy or not in the mood’ but now I find myself wanting to go outside for a walk regardless of the weather in order to boost my mood and energy levels.
So get walking and get healthy for your wellbeing.
2. CONSCIOUS BREATHING (MEDITATION)
I think there’s a lot of conspiracy theories around the word and act of mediation but in simpleness, it’s the process of awareness trough conscious breathing. I’m aware there are many forms of meditation out there from Thai Chi, Kundalini Yoga, Zen mediation and so on. One thing they all have in common is breathing then movement.
Everyone is different, so seek what works best for you and your stress levels, however one I can recommend that’s helped me in stressful environments is simple mindfulness mediation where there’s no movement required, just stillness and deep breathing, listening to your pulse and centring your mind, breathing in peace and stability, breathing out stress, tension and negativity.
Disconnecting to connect with the current moment, also what I like to call ”going offline”. One of my personal favourites along side walking is to put my phone on airplane mode and disconnect from any connectivity that makes me available to everyone.
Maybe this is just a personal feeling, but when I’m with my phone it feels as though every message and call is like a demand, because I’m with it an it’s on, people want to reach out and find it weird when i’m not able to answer (yet the phones ringing) or I’m not messaging back but they’ve seen me online not too long ago. It feels so good to go for a couple hours everyday without having access to my emails, texts, whatsapp or any form of technical communication unless 100% necessary.
If this is something you don’t do often, but know that your phone is an active part of your day to day life, try to reduce how available you are and take moments to just disconnect by doing some of the following
- Don’t check your phone unless you need to use it or contact someone
- when bored put your phone on do not disturb and find other things to do
- Don’t sleep with your phone in the same room or near you
- When going for a walk don’t take your phone or silence it till the walk is done
- If you’re an active user of social media take a ‘fast break’ where you spend a certain amount of days off the platform
These are just some of may tips, but I hope this has helped you in some way or form, with a bit of insight on how to get started. Please comment below if learning to destress is of value to you and feel free to share any methods that have worked for you.