largeNowadays when self-service and do-it-yourself are “in”, it is small wonder that we can even now be our own “shrink”. Perhaps, we would not come up with a very accurate analysis as that of a certified professional but, at least, it we will have a fairly decent idea on the status of our mind (which is usually sufficient, unless we are a certified mental case).

Stress has become a common ingredient in our day-to-day living and it affects our personal and professional relations with others. When we start to sense that something is not right within us, we usually feel an unpleasant sensation in the pit of our stomach that is warning us of an impending doom. It helps us to analyse what role stress plays in our lives. In most cases, evading possible negative outcome or responsibilities is the main culprit for the tension we feel.

Rushing to an expensive therapist may not be a wise option at this stage. Perhaps, a simple self-analysis is enough to put us at ease. Here are some tips on how to go about this:

1.    Realign our goal. Rather than spend more time trying to avoid the negative outcome in our lives, we must take a more aggressive approach with our goal.  We should not just avoid or react to circumstances; we must actually seek and develop a positive mindset. Let us empower ourselves and be on top of situations instead of being dictated by them.

2.    Let us release some energy. When we are under stress, our body reacts by releasing hormones in response to our natural “fight or flee” mode. These chemicals can build up in our system which can stress us further.  Therefore, to avoid the build-up of tension within us, we must release this excess energy. Instead of just sitting down and focusing on our problem, we should use up the energy by physical means. Going out for walk or jogging around, going to the gym, engaging in sports, or playing with our kids or pets are excellent way to steam off.  They can calm us down fast.

3.    Let us socialize. Our body releases the hormone known as oxytocin whenever we come close to another body, be it a fellow human or even a pet animal. The primary effect of this hormone is to calm us down. Bonding with our loved ones or friends will not only un-stress us but also improve our personal relations — a double treat in calming us down.

4.    We are not ostrich so stop acting like one. To bury our head in the sand is never an effective way to escape from our fears. As the late Delano D, Roosevelt rightly said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Fear begets fear until it overwhelms us. When we closely analyze what are we afraid of and the reason for it, our fear is half-way, if not completely, conquered. Chances are, we only over exaggerate it in our mind.

5.    Let us mediate. This ancientlarge practice of calming the mind has survived for centuries because it is effective. It is free and so simple that anyone can do it anytime and anywhere. Simply assume any comfortable position, close our eyes, and breathe deeply. As we concentrate on the simple process of inhaling and exhaling, we instantly feel all tensions dissipate from our mind and body. We focus on the present moment, forgetting all the pains of the past and the uncertainties of the future. Putting on soft background music while we meditate will help to calm us down further.

These simple but effective tips can help us analyse our mind and the stress that affects it.  We can resort to them as immediate solutions to what is bothering us without having to actually lie in the “shrink’s” — sort of a free and easily available first-aid for stress.