“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour” – Old Zen Saying


One of the biggest epidemics of the 20th century is stress, which is a direct results of the speed at which most of us live our lives, the amounts of virtual data clouding up our minds every minute, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise… the list goes on. Stress isn’t just something one can avoid or ignore, as most try, especially since it can lead to diseases – heart problems in particular, apart from simply leading to unhealthy acidic habits such – high-fat comfort foods, smoking, alcohol or caffeine.


It is thus important to take time out to treat stress-reduction, just as you would to eat or sleep. So here’s a few tips to help you “chill out” and take some time out to give your mind and body the relaxation it needs, especially if you’re life is chaotic and filled with activity:


  1. Meditate!

This one’s a no brainer and it’s one of those solutions that’s a trend, due to being an actual cure to most stress-related problems. A speedy and chaotic mind are often playgrounds for stress, and nothing helps slow and focus such a mind on what’s important like meditation. Apart from releasing anxiety, research shows that meditation allows your to “alter your brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress”, and since meditation is all about controlling your mind, it can train you to calm yourself down and think clearly in panic-inducing situations.  All you have to do is take some time out every day, to simply sit up straight, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, allowing your body to let go off the stressful thoughts that it’s clinging on to.


  1. Work with your body

Aren’t motivated enough to try a heavy workout? Simply work with your body instead, by doing productive things such as cleaning the dishes, organizing your room, doing the laundry, a few light exercises. Stress usually has to deal with the mind and it attacks your thoughts, forcing you to amplify your stress by thinking more stressful thoughts, and so working with your hands – counteracts the stress, by focusing your mind on one thing that you’re positively effecting. From a scientific perspective – physical activity produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that work like natural painkiller and stress-relievers.


  1. Relax to some Music

Since one of the best ways to reduce stress is to get in touch with your senses, music is often the most quickest way to do so. Stress often manifests in disorganized chaotic thought,  and music provides the body with appealing audio queues it requires to encourage coordination – both physically and mentally. In fact, hospital patients that are about to go into surgery, are made to listen to pleasant music on headphones, to relieve them of anxiety and apprehension. However, the kind of music one listens to can also make all the difference, since each individual has different musical preferences. One can also download a pleasant list of soothing natural sounds and play on loop while working, like the rushing water, the sound of the wind, or the sound of a forest.


  1. Drink Lots of Water


Since about 60% of the body is made up of water, replenishing it with a fresh glass every now and then, can be particularly rejuvenating. Studies show that Cortisol which is called the ‘Stress Hormone’, increases with dehydration, making it all the more for you keep that bottle of water close to you throughout the day. The most easiest way of allowing water to alleviate your stress, is to keep it with you as a replacement for alternative beverages, especially aerated and caffeinated drinks, which increase your body’s acidity levels. In fact, one of the most severe causes of stress is acidity, and regular water isn’t always enough to combat high acidic levels. The opposite of acidity is alkalinity and therefore the more alkaline you are, the less stressed you are bound to be. That’s why – alkaline water, which is enhanced with minerals and electrolytes, is the easiest way to keep your stress and acidity in check, since one can’t avoid drinking water every day.


So are you feeling stressed? Tired? Depressed? Don’t worry! Just pop on some soothing music, close your eyes, take deep breaths, focus on yourself, and when you open your eyes – move around a little bit, take great pride in doing the smallest things to change the world around you. Be sure to drink a glass of water, and then feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and centred, get back to what needs doing – feeling so much better.