5 science backed ways to reduce stress

omkara Yoga & Mind

We all have the right to feel calm and happy, but it’s no surprise that most of us at some point feel our stress levels rise in varying degrees. Here are five science backed ways that assist in reducing anxiety and stress. These techniques will potentially calm the mind and therefore allow one to make clear decisions and create a more supportive environment and lifestyle.

  1. Counted Breathing:

    The idea here is to create a slow, steady even inhalation and exhalation. Find a comfortable place to sit .. you can even do this on your way to work (not driving) or waiting for a bus. This exercise is a great way to center yourself and return to a state of mindfulness. The concentration required to count will open up the possibility of letting go of negative thoughts whilst the steady breathing is calming and energising.
    As you inhale, silently count from number 1 all the way to whichever number you naturally get to with the inhale.
    As you exhale, count the same number all the way to the end of the out breath.
    Repeat this process, either staying on this same count, or if it feels natural and comfortable, then you can increase the count to a higher number, therefore lengthening the breath.
    • If you start to feel dizzy or have any discomfort at all, please stop this exercise and come back to your natural breath. Do not force an extended inhale or exhale beyond your comfort zone.

  2. Nature knows best:

    We’ve heard it all before, and we understand that suggestions like this can potentially sounds silly when you’re suffering from extreme anxiety. “As if looking at a flower is going to solve the financial problems or emotional turmoil one might be in” .. however, even a short walk in nature will help put things into perspective… and its surprising how quickly one can feel the benefits of being around any form of nature, here are some suggestions; walk through a city park, or if its available the woods, go near water, look up at the clouds and let your imagination create a story, look at the stars, check out the patterns in fallen leaves on a city sidewalk or the flowers in a corner store … Nature will soothe you, so its worth creating the time to go and appreciate the world around you.

  3. Yoga Nidra:

    This is a systematic form of guided relaxation that is typically practiced anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes at a time. Create a quiet space at home and lie down in Sivasana… on your back with your palms facing up towards the ceiling. Use whatever props you need to be as comfortable as possible (neck cushion, blankets). Close you’re eyes, slow down the breath and listen to the Yoga Nidra.
    You can a download a free Yoga Nidra here by Cora Geroux from Slow Yoga: Yoga Nidra Download
    BENEFITS OF YOGA NIDRA

    • A profound experience of muscular, mental and emotional relaxation. …
    • Fewer physical symptoms, such as headaches and back pain. …
    • Reduce chronic pain. …
    • Proven to permanently lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. …
    • stress (the cause of most illness today)
  4. Scents for the senses:

    Studies suggest that when Aromatherapy is used properly, the power of essential oils, deliver the beneficial healing properties of certain plants in a direct and highly concentrated form. Our recommended oils to relieve stress are:

    • Lavender: This is easily found around the world and is it is appreciated for its relaxing and balancing effects on both the physical and emotional bodies. It may also be used as a pain reliever for muscles and joints, or as an antiseptic on minor cuts, burns, bug bites and stings.
    • Rose: More costly than most essential oils due to its labor-intensive extraction process (requiring 60,000 roses for every one ounce of rose oil). Rose oil provides relief from both stress and depression and had been known to sooth the heart for those suffering from emotional stress. This healing oil is also used to treat eczema and menopausal symptoms.
    • Frankincense: A rich and velvety warm, exotic aroma, commonly used for stress relief. It may also be applied topically to the skin to rejuvenate cells or used to calm certain respiratory conditions such as coughing.

  5. Pay it Forward:

    Many studies have shown that the more you give, the happier you will feel. Find ways everyday to help someone. This could be as simple as saying thank you to someone that has helped you, or asking someone how they are and really listening to their answer. Offer a helping hand if you see a stranger struggling with bags. If you have the resources then make some big things happen, donate to charities that are improving animal welfare, human rights, saving rainforests, cleaning oceans. If you look around you, then the chances are you will notice someone that needs a hand .. or they might just need a genuine smile to make their day.