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  • Gazala Hitawala

How to manage stress?

All of us have to agree to this that on a daily basis we are regularly dealing with stress, yes, we do. To manage stress the most important thing is to recognise stress but how do we do that? Stress gives you certain signs which may vary from person to person, it can be a constant headache, anxiety, loss of interest, irritating, lethargy, frequently tapping your foot or constantly getting thoughts about a particular incidence. You need to really observe yourself to find out these signs because most often we are stressed but have the perception of, “I am just fine.” Now that you have identified you’re stressed let’s get into different simple and effective ways to deal with stress.

1. Meditation

I can’t stress enough that how much change can meditation bring in to your life. It helps in bringing peace to mind and soul and not just that eventually, you will start seeing the positive aspect of every situation, just staying in the present moment and letting go everything else is so relieving, isn’t it?

Meditation can be difficult to practice as a beginner but you will eventually grow as you practice. Coming from a person like me who was initially a sceptic regarding meditation and now being an advocate: meditation has definitely done wonders for me. Developing mindfulness might be difficult when you do it on your own so it’s better to go for guided meditation. There are many apps which provide guided meditation and guide you through the practice. Since our brain is constantly thinking ‘doing nothing’ is a difficult task for the brain. Hence, we need an instructor for it. Taking a meditation subscription is worth the money.

2. Follow your hobby

What can be better than doing something you’d love to do? Anything that makes you feel free, be it dancing, cooking, writing, painting, spa, music, reading or taking a shower will give you internal happiness and help you move out of those constantly flickering stressful moments.

3. Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins which are also called ‘happy hormones’ that lessen stress. One should exercise regularly but especially in moments of stress try to go for a run or jog, hit the gym, perform yoga or simply do some stretching exercises. Exercise boosts you up and fills you with zest and zeal to keep moving ahead even in a tough time

4. Drink water

When the body is dehydrated the metabolic pathways in the body try to reserve water and release cortisol which is also called the ‘stress hormone’. Whenever you are stressed drink water, it will bring down the cortisol levels and make you feel better.

5. Food

There are so many food items that contain serotonin hormone which elevates your mood.

(1) Eggs

eggs contain all the amino acids and one of which is tryptophan which is a precursor of serotonin. Eggs can significantly boost your blood plasma tryptophan level. So while you are getting all the nutrients from eggs it also helps elevate mood.

Remember not to remove yolk. The yolk contains an enormous amount of tryptophan and tyrosine along with other essential nutrients and Omega 3 fatty acids.

(2)Cheese

No, it’s not just the yummy taste of cheese that will make you happy but it also contains tryptophan and tyrosine. Having said that it should also be kept in mind that cheese might react with antidepressant drugs and result in adverse drug reactions so one needs to be careful when they are taking any drugs (medicine).

Both egg yolks and cheese have a tendency to increase your blood cholesterol levels. And especially when you are stressed you have a tendency to binge eat and munch on everything that is in front of you which might affect your fitness levels. So here are some more healthy food options :

(1) Pineapple

Pineapple increases serotonin levels and is the preferred fruit for depressed mood and anxiety.

(2) Nuts and seeds

All the nuts and seeds contain tryptophan. Anytime you feel stressed take a handful of nuts and enjoy.

(3) Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains a large amount of cacao and it is proven that daily intake of dark chocolate has helped in relieving depression. It also contains antioxidants which boost your immune system.

Remember that all the food mentioned should be incorporated in your daily life and not just eating it when you are feeling low and expecting some miracles to happen.

Hope you find this information helpful.

Stay happy!

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