Particularly in Western culture, our lifestyles have become increasingly fast-paced, loaded with information and noise which is causing many of us to be constantly switched on and connected.
The ability to switch off and slow down has become more challenging yet vital for our wellbeing. If we don’t take time out, it can lead to high stress levels, increased feelings of overwhelmedness and poor quality sleep.
While a wellness retreat stay is the ultimate circuit breaker, there are many things we can incorporate into our daily routines to help us bring more quiet, comfort and calm into our lives.
Stress management techniques
Urban living can challenge us when we are constantly in air-conditioned, artificially-lit environments. Being in the fresh air with nature is now proven to be a valuable contributor to reducing stress. Make time to immerse yourself in nature and participate in relaxation activities like yoga, meditation, or long walks.
A healthy eating plan and a program to promote functional movement are also essential for managing stress levels. However, it’s important to understand that they are not enough on their own.
The evolution of the human species can come from improving awareness and consciousness, creating more connectivity with self and others and practising the art of compassion and gratitude. This is where stress management lives, inside the self.
The ideal place to contemplate and practice these essential human elements is within a dedicated retreat setting, away from distractions where you can disconnect completely and allow your body to heal from the inside out.
MANAGE YOUR THOUGHT DIET
Dealing with stress today is about managing our thoughts. If we can choose a better thought, then we can reduce our stress at any time. For example, instead of worrying about something that has not yet happened and is therefore not real, we can aim to choose a more calm and rational thought.
USE DEEP BREATHING TO CALM YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
Learn how to use your breath as a support when things go awry. Deep belly breathing is incredibly calming to the nervous system and can be done at any time, at no cost and with no side effects. Yoga is also a wonderful practice that can help our minds remain calmer every day.
TAKE TIME TO REST
A simple remedy for managing psychological pressure and stress is to ensure you have time for yourself with no agenda and no physical exertion. We refer to this time as ‘strategic rest’. This is an essential time for adrenal restoration and necessary time for reduced mental and physical stimulation.
SUPPORT YOUR ADRENAL GLANDS
When the adrenal glands are overloaded and we are constantly ‘on’, this interferes with immune function, hormonal balance and can often be the source of many undiagnosed symptoms of pre-disease. To support the adrenal glands, try Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, or see a naturopath who can prescribe wonderful restorative herbs. Incorporate activities that help soothe the adrenal glands such as yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, massage and regular deep breaths, especially when you feel things getting away from you.
Simple changes you can make every day
Cultivate a healthy relationship with food.
- Eat food that is as close to what it is in nature. This includes plenty of whole foods and vegetables and avoiding processed foods with refined sugars.
Cut out caffeine until you are sleeping better at night.
- For some people, one coffee might have little impact, but for others, it has a huge effect.
Try to live in the present moment more often.
- Do something that requires you to focus on anything other than your day-to-day life. Try meditation, yoga, tai chi, and deep breathing. Acupuncture is also a wonderful session to incorporate.
Practice and use relaxed belly breathing as much as you can.
- This can help slow things down and calm the adrenal response. Incorporate this simple technique a few times each day and you’ll start to feel the difference immediately.
- Get plenty of rest each day to help restore your body.
Visit nature as often as you can, whether it’s a park, the beach or a bushwalk.
- Even looking at images of nature can help if you can’t be outside in nature.
Wellness is so much more than just the physical. Make switching off and slowing down a priority and deal with the stresses of life in the most simple and effective ways.
If you liked this article, you might also like to explore practising self-care and self-love.