For a count of four out of five human beings, an impossibility would be to deny the constant notion that they are running out of time; that they are confined to the rotating arms of a clock upon which the continuance of their existence depends, with no route of escape in sight. Tied to this notion of frustration are the recurring headaches, the fatigue and the shortage of energy, the mood swings and the unexplained bodily pain, not to mention the anxiety and insomnia. Collectively, these incessant symptoms compose the backbone of a single, renowned enemy—stress.
Researches demonstrate that stress impacts 70% of individuals, preying more on the younger generations rather than the old—Millennials and Generation Z belong to the larger crowd of victims, with people above 40 years of age being part of the minority. The disease is substantially rooted from the negative impact of a lifestyle one had no choice but to live, with reasons ranging from career-related factors to marriages and relationships, to family expectations and health problems. Stress is a dangerous disease to live with. Although stress itself is incapable of causing death, indirect and premature death is possible due to the influences of the disease—unhealthy habits and issues of the heart, to name a pair. In other words, to quote psychiatrist Dr. Patricia Celan from the Dalhousie University of Canada, “You could live longer if you had less stress in your life.”
What a victim of stress requires is a break; an escape, a figurative stroll in the clouds. Even if it may take months, if not years, for a person to recover from this disease, myriad treatments that contribute to recovery persist, of which the highest recommended are featured in this article.
Meditation is an obvious option, known to provide undeniable ease and proper alignment of mind. While numerous forms of meditation can be listed, for the conversion of the disorganized mind to its opposite, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is considered the most beneficial of all. A 40 to 45-minute period of MBSR daily can be primely productive. For a resident of Sri Lanka, the country is generous with its provision of a natural environment ideal for meditation, at the same time as the availability of gratifying meditation destinations namely Supuvath Arana in Seeduva and Sigiriya’s Amuna Ayurveda Retreat.
Years of legitimate proof exist affirming the connection between music and stress relief. Even in the event of the absence of such proof, an individual seeking relief from stress is bound to witness the magic of music personally, which certainly is the reason behind music being the most popular form of therapy. Spotify consists of a separate playlist named “Stress Relief” which includes a vast variety of serene music tracks, notable ones being Lugnet by Najma Wallin and Johann Eder’s Peace. Lofi remixes are ideal for those seeking a stress-free study mindset. Adele’s song Someone Like You, Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing and All I Need by Air are examples of songs that have the backup of Science to prove that they have contributed to the relief from stress and anxiety.
The practice of aromatherapy dates back to the ancient days of civilization. As the term itself would imply, aromatherapy collaborates with the sense of smell, involving aromatic substances, plant extracts and essential oils, of which the scent molecules use olfactory nerves to visit the amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for emotional subjects, upon inhalation. The outcome is relief from stress and relaxation of the mind. Chances prevail where the oils used may not be pure, or instances where the treatment could provoke allergic reactions. However, aromatherapy is medically proven to be highly beneficial. Lakroma in Seeduva and Liven Essential Oils in Ambalangoda are ideal places for the purchase of aromatherapy essential oils in Sri Lanka.
Submerging in a tub of hot water, taking a warm shower, or simply the splash of warm water on an exhausted body is a form of amelioration meant simultaneously for both the body and the mind. Epsom salts, oatmeal, milk and honey or herbs are a few ingredients befitting for a soothing hot bath in a tub. Warm baths are also a remedy for insomnia—a symptom of stress—being that they prepare the body for sleep by easing the muscles and elevating the body temperature.
Herbal tea is a pleasantly affordable medicine that is also generally domestic, particularly in Sri Lanka. A cup of herbal tea is composed of stress-relieving antioxidants, apart from several other components that help the bodywork against gastritis and high blood pressure. Mint teas, chamomile teas, tea containing kava kava or ashwagandha are options for an invigorating cup of herbal tea. Dilmah, one of the finest known brands of tea in Sri Lanka, offers a wide variety of flavors and forms of tea, counting herbal tea, which retains its own line is the brand, namely “Arana.” Besides Dilmah, Lipton and Zesta join in to offer good products from the finest tea plantations in the country as well.
In summation, stress is not the end of the world. Stress is simply a pleading message one’s state of mentality sends one, reminding the individual that his or her body and mind needs care, attention and above all, a vacation.
By Rebecca Mischelle