Ayurveda specializes in many areas and one of its greatest assets lies in the area of stress reduction and Self-care (as they tend to go hand-in-hand). Stress is not called the “silent killer” for no reason.
Stress and emotional imbalance is a leading cause of 99% of disorders including:
- Heart disease
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders
- Weight gain
- Acid reflux
- Digestive issues
Stress has many different origins and manifests in many different forms.
Reducing the stress load in your life will increase your energy levels, enhance your mood, boost your immunity and lead to a happier, healthier you. Begin to de-stress today by incorporating these 7 simple practices into your daily life.
7 Steps to Stress Reduction
1. Take a walk outside everyday.
Taking 20 minutes out of each day to step outside and go for a short walk is a great practice for reducing our stress levels and enhancing our mood.
Getting out in the fresh air is healing all in itself, but taking some time to get the body moving each day has been clinically proven to reduce stress levels. We often go through our days on autopilot so taking a moment to calm the mind and reflect on your thoughts is helpful as well. Find a time that works best for you and try to take a walk at the same time each day, as consistency is essential for effective, long-term results.
2. Take 5 minutes to sit quietly and check in with yourself each day.
Begin the morning by sitting in a comfortable, peaceful spot in your home where you can close your eyes, take some deep breaths and check in with your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Even when life is at its most chaotic moment, this simple practice will allow you to check in with yourself and begin each day in your center. Perform this practice everyday at the same time for powerful results. For an added bonus, try doing this 5 minute practice before bed too!
3. When stress gets high, remember to just breath.
Whether at work, in the car, in line at the store or even at home; we are constantly faced with situations that have potential for raising our stress levels. However our fate is truly in our own hands, and our reactions are what we make of it. The next time your boss is yelling at you or someone cuts you off on the road; take a step back from the situation, bring awareness to your thoughts and calm the mind by taking 10 deep breath into the lower belly.
This may be a contrived practice to begin, but after you get habituated with this deep breathing, each time you are faced with these feather ruffling situations, you will find yourself naturally using this peaceful, healthy way of dealing with them.
In fact, take this moment right now to begin!
4. Find organization in your environment.
If you feel stressed, overwhelmed and out-of-control; there is a good chance that your environment may reflect this.
If we are able to keep a clean, organized home and work place, this is a great first step for creating a calm, organized mind. De-cluttering your space is a profound way to de-clutter the mind and an organized mind is much better at taking in stressful situations with grace and ease.
5. Find organization in your daily routine.
Having a daily schedule is so necessary for our health and well being.
Our body and mind crave consistency to regulate our hormones, digestive systems, emotions and energy levels. To begin, simply set a routine time for going to bed, waking up and eating each meal. Here is an general example of a healthy routine:
- 7am – Wake up
- 8am – Breakfast
- 12pm – Lunch
- 6pm – Dinner
- 10pm – Bedtime
6. Take a warm bath 2 times each week before bed.
This simple, nourishing practice is a lifesaver in terms of reducing stress levels and calming the mind.
Every week take 2 nights out for some luscious self-care and take a warm bath. Adding essential oils such as lavender, rose, tulsi or rosemary will enhance the calming properties even further. Feel free to add epson salt or a ginger and baking soda blend which will also enhance the healing benefits.
If you do not have a bath tub in your home, try a finding hot tub, sauna or steam room in your area and use these at least 2 times each week as well.
7. Rub warm oil on your feet, forehead and scalp each night before bed.
Taking a few minutes before bed each night to massage some oil onto the feet, forehead an scalp is a powerful practice for reducing the days built-up stress and bringing the energy down for the night.
Begin by warming a small amount of Vata Oil or sesame oil in a small pan. Take a small amount into the palm and begin by massaging the forehead, face, neck and around the ears. If you are going to wash the hair the next day, apply some oil to the scalp and massage thoroughly. Once done with the head, move down to the feet and allow a few minutes to deeply massage each foot. Ending with the feet is a great way to bring down the energy and prepare the body for a restful sleep.