In troubling times, it can be easy to fall prey to stress. Sudden demands upon your time or financial difficulties can all contribute towards anxiety and stress. If you’re unable to reduce stress it can lead to unhelpful coping mechanisms such as alcohol dependency or drug use. Whilst you can always get help with a range of stress disorders, there are mindful and spiritual ways to reduce stress and stop it before it becomes a problem.
Harnessing the power of spirituality can be about finding things that quiet your mind and bring moments of joy into your life. It’s about finding ways to rest and rejuvenate without putting more strain on yourself or feeling burdened with new commitments. Focusing on your spirituality or faith can inspire hope and give you new tools to help deal with your mental state. Even if you’re a total atheist, these methods which are rooted in spirituality can help you reduce stress and find moments of peace.
Mindfulness is more than just a buzzword. It’s a way to help manage stress by taking time to exist in the moment and notice things like:
Easy ways to become more mindful include doing techniques with roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and other faiths and traditions: breathing exercises and meditation.
Simple breathing exercises include the relaxing breath, also known as the 4-7-8 technique. This is where you breathe out with a “whooshing” sound through your mouth, then breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Hold this breath for a count of 7, then whoosh the air out of your lungs for a count of 8. Do this four times, and repeat this a few times a day. This type of breathing may act as a natural tranquilizer, soothing and relaxing you without the need for drugs. Talk to us if you’re ever concerned about drug use.
One form of breathing exercises is called pranayama and is a part of yoga practice. Pranayama is believed, by yoga teachers and students, to have a positive effect on the energies of the body. Yoga, an ancient Indian tradition, includes elements of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and is a great holistic approach to health. Yoga exercises involve concentration and focus, making it harder for you to dwell on worries and stress.
One of the best things about yoga is that there are many adapted forms to make it more accessible for those with reduced mobility or disabilities. There are even versions of yoga that are suitable during pregnancy.
During times when it’s hard to get out and about, it’s easy to feel isolated. Here at Transformations Treatment Center, we know all about how isolation and loneliness can lead to depression. But there are small things you can do to remind yourself that you are not alone, and that there is a shared sense of solidarity around the globe.
Across many countries the hashtag #frommywindow is trending, thanks to people sharing bright and colorful pictures of rainbows, flowers, sunshine and more in their windows. The idea is to bring a moment of joy to anyone who is out and about such as key workers and medical staff. Doing good for others helps us feel pride in ourselves, plus creating something beautiful is a natural remedy for reducing stress.
What makes you happy? Is it playing board games with your family? Is it composing music? Maybe you love to make your own greetings cards or paint pictures? Take the time to remember all the things that bring you joy. Write them down and create a list. Then, once you have your list, pick one thing that you want to focus on for the coming week or month then throw yourself into that activity with as much enthusiasm as you can.
If you find you can’t think of anything that brings you happiness, you may be suffering from a form of depression. Talk to us to find out how we can help.
One of the most common things religious people so when they are stressed is pray. Prayer is a way of focusing and talking about your problems without feeling judged- something everyone needs from time to time. Affirmations are similar except there’s no need to have a relationship with a deity or spirit. Affirmations are positive words you say to yourself.
Positive affirmations you could say to yourself each day include:
You can say these to yourself every day or record you or someone else saying them and listen to it on your headphones. Your subconscious will start to believe your affirmations, improving your overall outlook and reducing stress.
Spirituality can be a way to face times of crisis with more resilience. Try these methods to reduce stress and find every day a little easier to deal with.