Persistent stress makes one vulnerable to several chronic ailments. Stress can be triggered by something as simple as dead phone lines to failed relationships. Recent research has established a strong link between mental stress and physical ailments.
Stress increases the release of norepinephrine and adrenalin hormones in the blood which in combination with other stress hormones such as cortisol and cortisone could result in blood pressure, increased heart rate, slow metabolism rate, and rise in blood sugar levels. Stress could also lead to constriction of peripheral blood vessels and decrease in blood-clotting time. Stress and aging are also interlinked. Prolonged stress could make people age faster. Chronic stress also speeds body deterioration and shortens lifespan of an individual. Though one cannot change their genes, considering factors that contribute to stress will help avoid many complications in the long run.
Deep breathing exercises are found to have profound effect in combating stress. The breathing pattern in a person who is stressed, appears to be shallow and rapid. Deep breathing exercises like pranayamas, asanas and meditation will have a soothing effect on mind and helps in combating stress.
Ayurvedic massages and medications also help in strengthening mind and body. Herbal hip baths help in improving body metabolism and overall health. Massaging the scalp and face with Chandanadi thailam or Dhanwantharam (herbal oil) is recommended. This can be followed by a steam bath.
Certain hydrotherapic techniques such as steam bath, circular jet bath and a full-body immersion bath with sandalwood paste and tulsi can help in dilation of peripheral blood vessels which boosts up blood circulation in the body and soothes the nervous system.
Medicines prescribed by Ayurvedic physicians such as Ashwagandharishtam, Manasamithravadakam and Dashamoolarishtam are considered as mood-boosters. Also, remedies from herbs such as Aconite, Arnica, Gelsemium could provide instant relief from stress.
Apart from herbal massages and medicines, a few alterations in ones lifestyle can also go a long way in combating stress. Increasing carbohydrate intake can raise serotonin levels that induce systematic sleeping patterns, as lack of sleep could result in depression and stress. Drinking green tea helps, as they are rich in bioflavonoids that help in combating stress and depression. Also, a simple vegetarian diet comprising of fresh vegetables and fruits helps in rejuvenating the body.
Taking a brisk 30 minutes walk everyday, apart from meditation and prayers (which help in reducing negative emotions) are a sure-cut way to getting refreshed. Apart from this, being optimistic and looking at brighter side of things by bringing in laughter and happiness to life, is by itself a great way to de-stress.