5 quick stress-busting tools

This week I’m thinking a little out of the box.

My true passion is for Ayurveda but I realise not everyone has the space to implement time-taking techniques around their busy-buzzing days. Although if I must say, the clue is in the pudding. When you are over-scheduled is exactly when you should make the time. If you want to feel like bouncing out of bed in the morning raring to go then you do need to cut out on some of the activities you currently still feel are necessary to your lifestyle. Are they, in earnest?

In the meantime here are a few tips that won’t need you to book an hour in your agenda:

1) 5 essential oils to take the pressure off:

All 5 senses are important in balancing your body-mind function and your nose is a gateway to your brain. Every scent you smell influences your mind and emotions. Aromas can be powerful in treating emotional disturbances. Here are my suggestions.

Lavender: it is balancing, soothing and normalising. Your perfect relaxing scent. It’s also very cooling so excellent for irritable Pittas.

Geranium: it is balancing, calming and uplifting at the same time – very grounding.

Neroli: soothing and regenerating, it gives confidence and strength to the mind.

Camomile: acts as a sedative and boosts the immune system.

Ylang Ylang: calming, balancing, it reduces tension and negative emotions.

I said 5 but I’ll throw another one in the bag just for good measure. Women can’t go wrong with Rose essential oil, it’s stabilising, fresh and so feminine.

Don’t use essential oils directly on the skin, a few drops in the bath are great or dilute in a base oil for direct application. Put a few drops on a scarf or hankerchief when at work. If you’re intrigued invest in a specialist book. Ayurveda recommends specific scents for each dosha.

2) 4 herbal supplements:

Kava kava is used to relax, it’s a sedative but doesn’t disrupt mental clarity. Gives a sense of wellbeing.

Ginseng helps build immunity to stress if taken for a period of time but be careful it’s quite powerful and invigorating, some people might find it too strong (excitation). Do not mix with anti-depressants.

Passionflower is great for insomnia due to stress and general anxiety or nervousness.

Skullcap can be used for mental and physical exhaustion. It relaxes the nerves and muscles, is calming and helps to cool Pitta disorders like fiery emotions, anger, envy.

3) Ditch the energy sapping stimulants:

I’m talking coffee, tea, the cookies box or cake from the staff canteen full of sugar, the cigarettes. I realise I might be stating the obvious but these create a short term gain and in the long run they will deplete your vitality. I’m not saying you can’t have a couple of squares of good quality chocolate once in a while but constant relying on these stimulants will actually drain you. Manage your stress by addressing the cause but don’t use stimulants which will re-stress the body. Replace these with a revitalising cup of herbal tea, ginger, cinnamon or tulsi. Start the day with a cup of hot water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for an instant energy hit that will double as a daily cleanser. Turn to whole-healthy food for energy: read, research, cook. Also complex carbohydrates such as porridge release energy slowly all day.

4) Use sound as a stress buster:

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or nervous, sitting and humming gently helps greatly. The sound resonation through your body is soothing. You could also try sighing to release irritability and tension, or chanting to cheerful music. Or you could use a mantra. Ayurveda has a theory that all creation stems from sound. Pratima Raichur has a terrific paragraph on Sound Therapy in her book Absolute Beauty which I couldn’t begin to explain here. Sound is healing when carefully chosen and mantras are Sanskrit sentences packed-full of specifically chosen primordial sounds used to create a specific effect. The well-known Om pronounced A-U-M with an internal bumble-bee-like tone is said to contain all other sounds and has a profound pacifying effect. Give it a go?

5) Try this basic energy-releasing acupressure technique:

Pinch the point between your thumb and forefinger for two minutes, then gradually release. How does that feel?

And finally I dare you: book an hour in your own diary for Me Time. Come on, you know you want to. Your body does.

As for me I’m just finishing a home cleanse with the lovely & wise Adena Harford Bright from Adena Rose Ayurveda and I’m feeling peachy! Check her out in my updated resources page.

Til the next time!

By Anne Schouvey

Modalities for vitality & holistic selfcare. Ayurveda, Breathwork, Reiki and Yoga. > Boundless Energy eCourse. > Yoga SocialEat > Medical Herbalism student

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