Sunday, November 6, 2011

Handling Stress

Stress is a part of everyday life, the causes vary from person to person. How you deal with it is an important aspect in your quality of life. I'm sure you've heard suggestions like meditating or yoga, but those aren't what I do. I just want to give you some tips that maybe you might not have thought of, but they definitely are effective for me. I find myself a lot of times feeling stressed without an obvious reason why. We don't realize how much stress we carry around subconsciously until we react to it. When ever I feel stressed these are the things that I do that help completely eliminate or mildly relieve it.

Relief 1: Music

Music can affect our moods in so many different ways, we use it to express our different emotions also. When I'm stressed I want to listen to something that is soothing to relax my nerves. I opt to listen to classical music, the kind depends on my mood though. In general I like to  put on some new age classical music that is predominantly piano based. I concentrate on the music at first then after while I drift off and end up getting lost in my thoughts. I've also just put it on and after awhile of it being background music my thoughts will shift from being anxious ones to calm ones. In a matter of minutes I always feel better and much more calmer. I use this to also help me concentrate.
Studies have shown that music from the Baroque period is very effective at relaxing you. Music from that period causes the heart beat and pulse rate to relax to the beat of the music, the mind id able to concentrate and the body becomes relaxed and alert. It has also been shown to decrease blood pressure and enhance the ability to learn.

Remedy 2: Vocalizing

I call this vocalizing because you are making sounds with your throat but not speaking per se. For this I try to find a comfortable position and somewhere that I won't be disturbed. I've done it while outside in crowds just quieter. 
So its similar to the chant OM except that I say Ah. I sit still and just continuously say a long Ah for as long as my breath holds of course. I repeat that over and over,mindlessly doing it and trying to relax all the while. After a time you will find that you become relaxed and most of your stress has been alleviated.
The vibrations are what eventually calm you down together with the effort of concentrating on relaxing. Sometimes you just need to scream or let it out rather than stifle it in, so this is my way of doing that without actually screaming. Its much more soothing. I sometimes change the pitch and frequency to create more or less vibrations. The point is to stimulate the vocal chords and creating a vibration from the throat to the chest.
Tibetan monks do something similar known as Overtone singing or known as Throat Singing. I first heard of it in one of my speech classes and realized that I was doing something similar. That resonance that you hear when they sing is more or less what you feel when you say Ah. 

If you are interested in some classical musicians here are some that I listen to; Yiruma, Enya, Josh Brickman, Ashram, Beethoven, Bach, Mendel etc.

Another remedy that normally works is having some chocolate. If I'm feeling very stressed and overwhelmed taking a bite out of a regular chocolate bar makes me feel better. It's better than having my favorite comfort food.

So next time you are feeling that staggering weight give one of my tips a try and watch your stress be washed away for the time being.