stress relief daily habits

Healthy & Positive Habits to Protect you from Stress

Exercise and physical activity can help significantly with stress management.

Everyday life can be full of stress. Research has shown that some stress is good for us: it helps us perform at optimal levels. Too much stress, however, can have serious psychological and physiological repercussions.

Research proves that a large chunk of top performers know how to manage their emotions in times of stress so that they remain cool, calm, and able to do what needs to be done. Here are few healthy and positive habits that you may want to develop to fight back stress and be successful!

  1. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is often overlooked. When our body does not have enough we often feel lethargic, grumpy, and get headaches. We also tend to mistake hunger for thirst, so before digging into another sandwich, vada pao or bag of chips, drink a glass or two of water. Tea, Coffee, cold drinks or flavored drinks do not count as water.
  2. Stay active on a regular basis : Exercise produces natural endorphins, which help put exercise promotes sleepus in a good mood. There is a lot of research that shows that exercise improves mood. If you are stressed, physical activity can get you in the right state of mind to be able to identify the causes of your stress. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and enabling you to deal with your problems more calmly. Exercise will also help you get proper sleep and calm you down.

3. Accept your feelings.If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, accept that it’s normal to feel sad and grieve. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because you are expected to. Accept your responses and give it some time, whether it is anger, desperation – but acceptance does not always mean expression. You need not burst out in anger or frustration on someone else. When you know you are angry – acknowledge it and follow anger management techniques and let yourself calm down. Success will follow automatically if you can apply this to other everyday emotions too.

4. Stay Positive : Successful people tend to be those who can see opportunity for growth, walking over their failures. Look for lessons to be learnt when something goes wrong, instead of falling in gloom or blame game for what went wrong. Try reframing negative thoughts. If you find yourself dwelling on something negative, try adding, “But what I can learn from this is…” Even just noticing that you’re stuck in a negative thought can help you move away from it. There’s a solution to any problem.stressed is desserts spelled backwards

“Problems are often a question of perspective. If you change your perspective, you may see your situation from a more positive point of view.”

  1. Stay Connected with loved ones : Staying amid the loved ones can help bring down anxiety levels so easily and dramatically. Reach out to people who matter to you every once in a while, they can offer support and friendship. Sometimes talking to someone completely unrelated to your difficult situation (read friend or family) can throw up a beautiful new wayto deal with your stress causing situation !

If the situations do not permit to spend enough time with the family or kids, you may want to keep a pet for company. If you can care for one, they surely can make you feel loved and bust your stress. Pets are regularly used, worldwide as an effective tool in several therapies involving emotions.

  1. Nurture a hobby: No one can lead a stress free life if they keep harping on that one same thing round the clock. Indulging in a hobby that takes away the mind to doing something you feel more passionate about, away from work – gives a good break to the mind to detangle from the drudgeries of everyday anxieties.
  2. Focus on progress, not perfection: No one is perfect. Not even the most successful people on the planet are perfect. Richard Branson, the very famous owner of Virgin Airlines, for example, has had some well-known failures in his time, yet has always been blunt about his belief that you fail quickly, fail big, learn from it, and move on. Many of us are obsessed with perfection, but letting it go may relieve us from a big baggage of stress.
  3. Love yourself : It is important for you to realize that the most important asset you have is your own self and that it must be looked after. Prioritize healthy habits like getting enough sleep, limiting caffeine and alcohol, getting proper exercise, and switching off from technology periodically. A lot of stress can be cut down easily by bringing down any of these – overly tired, overdose of caffeine and alcohol and constant interference of digital life. A truly successful person will strive to find balance to help moderate his stress.
  4. Get organized : One major cause of stress is the number of decisions we have to make in a day. Every decision from whether to wear a solid or a pinstripe shirt, cook a sandwich or salad, send your child to this class or that, all the way up to hiring and firing decisions – they all simply keep adding up to cause stress! Use a ‘to-do’ list; Build up a routine for simple things like answering emails at the same time, checking your social media once a day or even organising your table drawer can help save you from stress for the bigger decisions that really matter.
  5. Work smarter, not harder : Good time management means quality work rather than quantity. Our long-hours culture is a well-known cause of workplace illness. You have to get a work-life balance that suits you. Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that will make a real difference to your work. Leave the least important tasks to last.
  6. Remember to laugh: Laughter makes us feel good. Handle Every stressful situation like a dogDon’t be afraid to laugh out loud at a joke, a funny movie or a comic strip, even when you’re alone.Handle Every stressful situation like a dog

Most importantly – Try not to worry. In time, things always get better. The world won’t end if your joblist isn’t all done or your kitchen isn’t cleaned. You may need to do these things, but right now might not be the right time.

I hope you find these tips useful.  I am keen to understand how do you manage stress in your life? I’d love to learn your most successful stress-busters in the comments below.

Contributed by Vaishali Gupta, an avid reader, writer and painter by hobby and an award winning Media Marketer by profession. She has keen interest in staying fit and keeps active despite a slipped disc.

physical activity for good health

The Activity Pyramid: Stay Active in a Fun way

Much easier said than done – Stay Active and Fit for Life! Not all the time. Here are few simple and fun things that you can incorporate in your everyday life and continue to stay Physically Fit and Active.

We call it the Activity Pyramid. Since it is meant to be FUN, it begins right at the bottom with everyday things that you may have known but have ignored implementing them so far!.Start from the bottom and work your way upwards!

 1. If you are Inactive: That is you rarely do any activity, increase your daily activities by:

– Use the staircase in place of the elevator. Start by climbing up the first fllor and then take the elevator to your destination. Add another one floor every second day of your climbing routine to gradually make it all the way up.

– Hide the TV remote. Get up and walk to the TV to adjust the volume or change the channel everytime.

– While standing in a queue, use your time to stretch your body.

– Walk whenever you can even within the house

2. If you are Sporadic:  You are active sometimes but not regularly, try to become consistent by identifying and adding activities that interest you from the middle of the Pyramid, set realistic goals to attain and plan your day so you can achieve your goals.

3. If you are Consistent : If you stay active most of the time, or upto four days in a week, then all you need to do is to keep shuffling your activities from the entire Pyramid so you not get bored and start to lose out.

Whichever stage you are or whatever activities you chose to do, remember to have FUN !!

Because when you indulge in activities that are fun, you are more regular and reduce the chances of injury.

physically fit

Physically Fit : What does it mean?

When you say the words – “Physically Fit” ; the mind begins to immediately picture a smart looking person who has a well-shaped body and is pleasant to look at. But is that all, that is there to being Physically fit?!

Of course, a pleasant looking body is one of the most tangible positive outcome of being Physically fit, but there are a lot of other measures that go into gauging one’s Physical Fitness ! One needs to consider all of these categories to qualify as being Physically Fit!

5 Components of Physical Fitness
5 Components of Physical Fitness
  1. Flexibility : Flexibility is the range of motion of a person, or one’s ability to move joints without feeling any discomfort or pain. There is a certain range of motion for each joint in the human body. Flexibility can be improved by stretching the joints and muscles of the body. Yoga is one of the most popular activity to improve Flexibility.

2. Muscular Endurance: Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to perform continuous without fatigue. Example of activities that help build up muscular endurance are cycling, step machines and elliptical machines.

3. Muscular Strength : Muscular strength refers to how much power your muscles have. Simply put, this is how much you can lift or carry. Muscular strength is often improved through strength training like push-ups, bench press etc.

4. Cardiovascular Endurance : The thudding sound you hear in your chest when you run or cycle hard is what points towards your Cardiovascular endurance. Simply put, it is the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the needed oxygen and fuel to the body during sustained workloads. Activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling and swimming usually help improving Endurance. People who have just suffered a cardiac episode are usually advised to go for Cardiac Rehab to build up their endurance in a safe way.

5. Body Composition : Body composition is the amount of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass, bone and organs. One has a physically fit body if he/she has a low body fat and a lot of muscle mass (in addition to meeting the above mentioned categories). Body composition is improved by exercising or working out.

The word of caution here is that all the above categories of Physical fitness can be achieved not just by Exercising and workout alone, it is equally important to achieve it along with proper Nutrition for the body. Irrespective of your current activity levels, you can follow the Activity Pyramid and get started today to be Physically fit soon enough!

recovery from knee pain

Dreams come true!

Painful knees are a very common occurrence among the elderly and so was with Mr Narayanaswamy. He continued to live with painful knees which eventually hampered his everyday activity. There was chronic pain and despite medication his walking and general movement began to decline. He continued to console himself that the reduced activity and stamina was owing to his increasing age.

But after a prolonged period of about two years, by when he was bed-ridden and almost totally inactive – he underwent total knee replacement as advised by his doctor.

After an initial rehab of knee replacement, an average person usually reports significant improvement in walking and other movements. Unfortunately Mr Narayanaswamy was not showing any signs of recovery. Instead he consistently suffered from fever and weight loss. Eventually a TB infection was diagnosed that had affected the TKR implant too. So a revision surgery had to be performed on him shortly, thereafter.

It is at this stage that I got to meet Mr S. Narayanaswamy – who had gone through so much in the last two years. Not just being physically weak he was feeling mentally drained too. He recalls “After I came from the hospital, I was very low on physical as well as mental strength. I was depressed also.  Even the slightest of movement made me breathless.

I was to be his home visit Physiotherapist from ReLiva. On his initial assessment, I realized that it was not just his stamina, he was even having difficulty balancing himself while standing. He had been bed-ridden and completely inactive for more than a year.

As a physiotherapist, I identified that his immediate goal was to improve his balance, regain strength and thereafter build up his stamina. All of these eventually will help him regain self-confidence.

Together we worked hard day-in and day-out. I would visit him regularly at his place and work on his goals through a combination of therapy and exercises. Gradually he showed signs of recovery and began to stand properly on his own. We systematically progressed to the next set of exercises. Now I had prescribed him several movements to be done on his own during the rest of the day. The committed and sincere person that he was, he would do those home exercises diligently on most occasions. We were moving from one strength to another.

It was at the end of another session of physiotherapy when he broke the news with a beaming smile that he was thinking of visiting his daughter abroad!

We had come a long way. Here was a man who was completely bed-ridden for a year and a half and could not even speak on the telephone for more than a minute and NOW – he wanted to travel overseas! He was daring to dream and together we shall have to make his dream come true! We now worked towards a deadline when he could walk independently to take this long journey on his own.

After another bout of intense physiotherapy, he reported, “my energy level has gone up, I have regained my emotional strength, there is no depression, no breathlessness! I am walking properly and climbing stairs.”

Last, I saw him the day before he was to take his flight and he walked on his own with his walking stick. We did some strengthening exercises which he would continue doing on his own while he was away. He told me that “I am a happy individual now. I am back to life!” … what he didn’t realise was : What a happy and delighted therapist he was leaving behind in me watching his dream come true!

As shared by Dr Shrutika Parab (PT). Dr Shrutika is a home visit physiotherapist with ReLiva Physiotherapy. She is immensely popular among her clients for her enthusiastic and positive approach. You can contact her directly at ReLiva (+91 9920991584) or email to her at contact@reliva.in.

exercise

No time for exercise? 10 tips to get moving

Running to office? Got to get kids ready for school! Got to meet the deadline. House guests are coming and there is still so much to be shopped. The list goes on and on and what inevitably happens is no time left for exercise. This is not just your story but of the most of the people around. If you are still struggling to find time for exercise, read on to discover some quick and easy tips to get moving.

“Building physical activity back into our daily lives is one of the great public health challenges of this century,” said Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Exercise at the University of South Carolina. “Our bodies were designed to be physically active, and they don’t do well with long-term exposure to sedentary living.  Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

Follow these simple trips to add some more action to your everyday life.

  1. Play with your child. Whether you do it at home or go outdoors, just pick up that ball or the bat or both and get into some action with your child. This will not just get your muscles moving but give you a great chance to bond with your child too.
  2. Walk the dog. Take the chance to walk your dog than to let someone else do it. This is your chance to get some fresh air and also get a quick 10-15 minute walk. The brisker you walk, the better the exercise for your dog too.
  3. Ditch the elevator. Start using the staircase instead of the lift specially to climb up, Start with getting off one floor below your destination to climb up the last staircase and gradually start getting off two floors below and improve it thereon.
  4. Don’t let the weather spoil your walk. If it is raining or it is too cold outside, just drive to your nearest mall with your sport shoes on. Walk around the mall, window shopping ( or not), climb the stairs and finish your daily walk.
  5. Carry your sports shoes on holidays. Walking around in a holiday not only lets you enjoy the weather and locale better but also lets you use your muscles.
  6. Pursue an outdoor hobby. Whether it is cricket, football, badminton, cycling, tennis or just frisbie; make sure you indulge in it every once in a week. The fun will takeaway the dread from physical activity.
  7. Park the farthest. Do not fret if you get a parking slot away from the building entrance. Infact try to consciously park your car away and just walk it to the entry.
  8. Walk the talk. While on a phone call, get up and stroll around the room. While the no time for exmind is occupied in the conversation, the muscles would get a decent stretch and movement.
  9. Goto them. Instead of calling your executives to your desk, take the chance to get up and goto them every once in a while. While they will warm up to your gesture, you will have moved your muscles a bit more.
  10. Lug the bag. The shopping bag may have become heavy but that gives you a chance to add weight to your walking. Ditch the trolley to your car/home and carry the bags yourself.

So if you still think you have not time for exercise, these simple tips will help you sneak in some exercise in your existing schedule. As they say, those who do not find time for exercise – have to find time for illness. Don’t let anything prevent you from taking care of your own self.

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