Stress is unavoidable in society today, at all stages of life. As a student, there is the stress of passing exams and getting a job. After that comes the stress of sustaining your job, ensuring that your marriage is successful, along with the stress of your children’s education. Sometimes it is difficult to handle stress, and people tend to break down and feel low. As far as my personal experiences go, the following tips have helped me reduce stress and anxiety in my life.
Watching funny sitcoms/movies:
I know it may seem like a trivial suggestion, but personally, this has helped me a lot. It is a well-known fact that laughter is the best medicine for stress, and there is nothing like allowing your mind to vibrate in the rhythm of genuine comedy. It takes your focus off the stress in your life and releases good hormones in your body.
Keeping yourself busy:
Stress produces negative feelings, which may even lead to anxiety or depression. It’s always better to engage your mind in stuff rather than dwelling upon negative feelings. You could read a book, watch a movie, do your daily chores, or focus on a particular hobby. These activities again help divert your mind from stress and negativity.
Rest / meditate / listen to music:
Lying down on a bed with your arms on your sides and taking deep breaths helps relieve your stress. Couple that with the music of your choice, and the effect is even better. The music doesn’t have to be purely melodic, but even if it’s a peppy/heavy number, it is preferable to have soft melodic portions in between which help relax your brain. I believe in the efficacy of music as a stress-busting mechanism. Sitting erect and meditating by focusing on your breath also helps sometimes.
Writing / doing something creative:
I believe writing has been instrumental in helping battle various tough phases in my life. When you create something unique, your energies are directed towards achieving that objective. Thus, stress is automatically diluted. Even in your free time when it is natural for the negativity to come back to haunt you, you always have a backup plan if you are in the creative field. You can think about your creation, the deficiencies in it, how to fill them, how to improve the quality of your work. Since I am a writer, thoughts about the next scene in my book, the dialogues, the setting, come to my mind, blocking off negativity/stress.
The best part about writing is that you can vent your frustrations and your pain via words, thus releasing some of your inner stress. You can set your mind free and design worlds, develop/dispose of characters, weave a plot as you desire. It is a fulfilling feeling.
These few strategies have worked for me to reduce stress, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will work for you. Stress is inevitable in life, and you need to battle it in your way by finding something that clicks for you. You can even combine many strategies and use them to your advantage. The only important thing is preventing stress from affecting you adversely and ensuring that you keep moving ahead in life.
Pankaj Giri, from Gangtok, Sikkim is the best selling author of Fragile Thread of Hope, and winner of Indian Literary Awards 2020 in category: Fiction. Beside, writing and reading, he loves to watch movies and listening to progressive rock music.