Rising stress? Here’s three key ways to tackle it
In 2023, our modern lifestyles are making us extremely vulnerable to stress, writes Eda Gungor, Co-Founder of SEVA Experience.
In the fast-paced world we live in, where productivity is at the core of our daily lives, we find ourselves to be under constant pressure. The latter paired with a lack of wellness awareness has led the UAE to rank as one of the countries with high levels of stress globally, especially in the private sector.
And stress is the root of all our illnesses, one way or another.
Often, it’s the doctors’ first diagnostic, no matter the type of affliction you go in for. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Humans are adaptable and resilient by nature, but we have somehow drifted away from our true nature. By bringing just a little bit of mindfulness and healthy practices into our daily lives, we can start living in a conscious way while keeping stress under control.
We Are What We Eat
If we are what we eat, then over 80% of the population of the UAE eats stress on a regular basis. How’s that? Well, stress can easily cause us to crave a certain type of food – highly processed, fatty, and sugary foods. And these have very little to zero nutritional value: they are of no interest to our bodies and will just provide us with temporary satisfaction that may have disastrous effects on our overall health in the long run.
On the other hand, a diet of whole, plant-based foods is a winning gamble. Not only will you benefit from all the nutrients naturally present in your aliments but also, by emphasizing your diet on magnesium-rich foods, you will regulate your stress levels. Magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) can lead to increased stress and anxiety, therefore it is crucial to incorporate magnesium-rich foods like grains, seeds, dark leafy greens, tofu, oats, avocados, bananas and dark chocolate into your diet.
For example, start your day with oatmeal with banana, nuts, and seeds, or a tofu scramble with sauteed spinach on a whole grain toast to stock up for the day.
Yoga is an incredible mood lifter: it helps in battling stress by promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and physical activity by lowering cortisol levels and increasing the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural mood-boosting chemicals. The deep breathing and meditation techniques used in yoga can also help calm the mind and reduce anxiety. And on the physical plan, postures can help stretch and release tension from the muscles, leading to a sense of physical and mental relaxation.
The beauty of yoga is, it’s a practice available to anyone, at any time. No, you don’t need to be a super-fit contortionist to enjoy the yogi routine and grasp the benefits of the practice! Any body type, physical condition, age, and gender are welcome on the yoga mat.
Meditation is another precious ally in the battle against stress. When you meditate, you focus your attention and eliminate distractions, allowing you to calm your mind and reduce stress. Meditation has been shown to lower cortisol levels and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and a regular practice can help you develop skills for managing stress and improving your overall well-being, as well as increase feelings of happiness, peace, and contentment. The practice of mindfulness can also help you become more aware of the present moment, leading you to a greater sense of control.
These are only simple tricks that are available to all, at all times, and will make a true difference in your life. If you want to go deeper, you can sign up for some private bodywork treatments such as the Nir Levi Method, Osho’s Rebalancing, or Anma & Ampuku at SEVA Experience, or a practitioners’ training/workshop where you can study your body (Xero Active, Kundalini Global Teacher Training), and your past/family history (Family Constellations), and open the door to many elements to reflect upon. Just remember: if something is happening to you, it’s happening FOR you. You need to see every moment coming externally for you as a reflection and an arrow that shows the direction in which you’re supposed to head.