Apparently, my tea drinking grandmother was right: tea really is relaxing. British researchers found regular consumption of tea normalized levels of stress hormones, and lowered blood pressure and heart rate. While I don’t need a study’s stamp of approval to tell me what I already intuitively know, it doesn’t hurt when science corroborates inner wisdom.
The following are a number of simple, cost-effective ways to reduce stress. I didn’t include yoga, because I have mentioned it before, but yoga is deeply soothing to every cell in your body-mind, and it does the spirit good. Please consider adding it to your arsenal of supports.
*** Drink tea, especially caffeine-free varieties. Chamomile is almost soporific it’s so relaxing. It isn’t easy to incorporate a new ritual, but if you practice something for 30 days in a row it has a good chance of becoming a habit. Do as the British, have a cup of tea in the afternoon, four o’clock is the traditional time, and see if it doesn’t re-set your mood for the rest of the day.
*** Go for a stroll, hike, or just sit outside. Take advantage of nature’s curative powers, they’re free.
*** Call a friend. Connecting is just as important as time alone, so reach out.
*** Listen to music. Choose whatever resonates with you, literally and figuratively, and make the time to feed your soul. (You might want to try Ultimate Om by Jonathan Goldman, see Annotated Bibliography.)
*** Think of three things for which you are grateful. If you do this daily, think of three different things every day.
*** Look at the sky, or a tree; tune in to the beauty and impermanence of all things. Research has shown that pausing to view scenes from nature helps refocus your attention. People who work near a window are healthier, happier, more tolerant, and enthusiastic about their job. In one study, prisoners who had windows with views of nature were sick 24% less frequently than those with no view.
*** Go inside and feel your body. Take a little tour from your feet to the top of your head. If an area feels tense just breathe into it. As simple as this sounds, it really works.
*** Read a poem and let it change your perspective. You can get one sent to your email by subscribing to panhala @yahoo.com (the link is listed on page one of this site).
*** Use all five senses to tune in to your environment. Try this while sitting at your desk, eating something, walking, or taking a shower.
*** Put a couple of drops of essential oil of lavender on a tissue and place it on your desk or chair. Not only has lavender been shown to relax you, it also relieves physical pain.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang