Stress is that unwanted feeling that makes you unhappy, causes pain and affects your physical and mental well-being.
Whether as a student, employee, or a family member, we cannot control everything around us, and some undesirable events do happen from time to time that lead us to feeling stressed.
I have tried various methods and techniques to handle stress. Just do a google search and you will find plenty of such ways yourself.
The problem with most of these techniques is that, they try to solve your stress problems at a superficial level. I know this, because I have tried those methods personally and know what works and what doesn’t.
Having tried all these techniques, if I have to give the most effective technique that works 100% of the time it would be this:
Yes. That’s right. Simply breathe.
The beauty of this technique is that it can be practiced anywhere, anytime, for as little or as much time as you want.
Why I call this the best technique?
Simple. Because it is the only technique that can be practiced anywhere, at anytime.
Sure other techniques work too, like reading a book (which I love by the way), listening to soft music, eating your favorite food, or playing games.
But is it possible to do them anytime?
Can you read books, eat food or play games in a crowded bus while standing? Do you always have your music and headphones 24×7? No. Right?
But the one thing that is always there with you, and always will be as long as you are alive is your breathe.
What do I mean by breathe? Don’t we breathe all the time anyway?
There is a significant difference between when you breathe consciously and when you do it unconsciously.
Unconscious breathing means that we are not even aware that we are breathing. It just happens as a side process, without coming between our day-to-day activities.
Conscious breathing means we are completely mindful of our breathing process, and we can feel the air coming in and out of our body. It’s the most preferred way to get back in touch with yourself, any moment of the day.
Enough with the talk, now let’s try the solution. Please read it very slowly, and with complete understanding.
When you are feeling stressed, just follow these simple steps:
Take a breathe. Try to make yourself as relaxed as possible. Make sure you are completely relaxed. Now, observe the air going in through your nose and coming out of it. Simply observe it. You can feel it coming from the tip of your nose. You can feel your stomach swelling with air. You can feel the air going out of your nose. Just keep on observing.
As you breathe, the stressful thoughts will keep popping up again and again. Just ignore them. Let them come and go. Don’t give them any attention. Don’t get involved with them.
The only thing you are involved with right now is your breathe. So focus everything only on your breathe.
Breathe slowly. Breathe peacefully. There is no hurry.
The only thing that exists in this universe at this moment is your breathe. The rest of the world simply doesn’t matter for now. Just keep on breathing mindfully. That’s all that is you need to know.
Keep practicing breathing this way. In the beginning, practice this for just 5-10 minutes. With time, you will start seeing the results yourself. You will feel more peaceful, and less stressed.
It may take you some time to get the depth of this technique, or you may get it instantly. It takes time, because we are not used to having such simple solutions in our life. We want some quick fix, some magic to happen that will remove our stress at once. The reality is it will never happen this way.
It will take time to get used to this simple technique (I don’t like to call it a technique though, as it’s just the right way to be your natural self). Just keep on practicing it naturally with total awareness.
With time, you will automatically figure out how to breathe mindfully without taking any special efforts. It will take time to get better at handling stress with this method, but it will definitely be worth the time you spend in practicing it.
Why this method works?
To understand its working, first we have to understand the root cause of stress. You don’t feel stressed out out of nowhere. First a stressful thought arises in your mind, then you think upon it and feed it unnecessarily, then it starts affecting your mental and physical well-being. It may be one of the reasons you are having that headache daily.
So, the root cause of your stress is that first unwelcoming thought that gets in your mind. If you can recognize that thought as soon as it pops up in your mind, then you have the choice of ignoring it, and acting with complete calmness.
For solving this problem, the breathing technique comes in. When you breathe mindfully, what you are actually doing is coming back to your natural self, to your real behavior.
When you are at your natural self, you feel peaceful and relaxed. Once you are relaxed, you can see that you can solve the very problem that caused stress, without feeling stressful from inside.
But isn’t it difficult to focus on our breathe in a crowded place, or when there is a lot of noise or pollution around you?
Yes. It’s difficult to focus in such scenarios. But let me assure you, with regular practice you will be able to focus completely on your breathe, irrespective of the external circumstances.
To do this, you need to have full control over your mind. If you could master your mind and live with complete awareness, it’s possible to eliminate stress permanently from your life. I know it’s a bold statement, but the truth is it actually works.
Right now, I would only suggest you to practice breathing with awareness. The more you practice it and include it in your daily life, the better you will become at controlling your thoughts. The better you become at controlling your thoughts, the better you will be able to manage any stressful thoughts.
Then you won’t need any other stress management technique, as you would already be following the best technique of them all.
Thank you for reading this. I hope this article helps you overcome all your stressful situations in future.
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