There’s no escaping it - stress has become an inseparable part of urban lifestyle. Research studies done across the world continually uncover new ways in which stress can negatively impact both the physical health and emotional health of a person. With so much at stake, shouldn’t we learn how to battle stress?

“Prolonged stress is not only associated to increased risk of depression and anxiety, it also increases a person’s vulnerability to common ailments like the flu, common cold and even heart diseases. However, it doesn’t end there; stress can have other more serious consequences. For example, people with excessive stress often do not respond well to treatments for cancer, lung diseases and heart diseases, and usually will always have a longer period of convalescence after any serious illness”, says Dr. Vivek Bhattacharya, a consultant clinical psychologist at Max Hospital, Gurgaon.

Now that you know how bad stressing over that deadline can be for you, here are 5 simple and easy ways that will empower you to beat stress:

1. Spend time with yourself

And we don’t mean just from actual people. You also need to spend time away from your smartphone / computer / tablet. Sometimes, the reason behind your stress can be an overload of information that happens as a result of being constantly connected with the world through your devices. This could also lead to an emotional dependence. Ensure you make time for yourself; even a 10 minute break where you switch off all devices and spend some quiet time enjoying nothing but the silence will help you feel more stress-free at the end of the day.

2. Stop stressing over stress

New research at UC Berkeley has uncovered something interesting – A little bit of stress can actually do you some good. According to experts, a small amount of stress can be the trigger that pushes you to the optimum level of productivity. It’s just stressing to the point that you’re always stressed out which does you harm.

3. Take relaxing baths

It’s not rocket science – we ALL feel better after a hot bath - it relaxes sore and tired muscles and makes stress melt away. Researchers have discovered that a bath washes away negative thoughts and feelings like remorse, post-decision doubt, and guilt. So go ahead, spend an extra 5 minutes soaking in a hot bath / in the shower and you’ll walk out feeling a lot more relaxed.

4. Follow your passions

Pursuing your hobbies can do more than just build your skill set; it also is a sure shot way to beat stress. Activities that are enjoyable stimulate the brain, but they also still all internal chatter because you are completely engrossed. This slows down brain waves, uplifts your mood and even lowers blood pressure levels. Be it cooking, playing music, bird watching or bike racing – doing something you’re passionate about is the perfect way to de-stress.

5. Make time to exercise

Believe it or not, more often than not your stress is a result of frustration. And exercising is the best way to channel all anger and frustration in to doing something constructive. Additionally, it also releases serotonin in the body that uplifts your mood, makes you feel energized and keeps the harmful impacts of stress at bay. See! We knew we were on to something.

Be aware

It isn’t so hard to beat stress, as long as you keep in mind that the goal is to still all inner ‘chatter’ and focus on unwinding and relaxing. It doesn’t always have to be yoga and meditation; simple fun activities that you enjoy doing are just as effective in battling stress. Mundane everyday chores are where frustration builds up add to your growing stress, so remember that the key to stay stress-free is to experiment, explore and be open to new ideas that could quiet your mind and make you deal with your problems more effectively.

Join a Yoga class near you to combat stress:

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