I don’t think I knew what stress was while growing up. Life was simple and choices were limited, but happiness was abundant. Today, unfortunately, stress has enveloped everything. From trying out fancy yoga classes to guided meditation and numerous other techniques, modern society is frantically searching for ways to de-stress.
Do I stress a lot? I would be lying if I say no! Over the years, though, I think I have learned to manage stress and control the things that stress me out. I have heard some people say that washing vessels helps them de-stress, while for others it is ironing clothes, gardening or taking long walks. I personally have a few favorites, some that work in tandem and others that work individually depending on the situation.
Reading used to top my list of relaxants, but cooking seems to have taken its place these days. From the mere action of chopping vegetables to the spluttering of mustard seeds and the aroma of spices, each aspect of cooking has a relaxing effect. Add my favorite music to the background, and I am set.
Next in line is taking long walks. Though I don’t particularly go take a walk when I’m feeling stressed, the walks I take everyday seem to help keep the stress at bay. The sights and sounds of the streets, pretty flowers and abundant sunshine can do wonders.
Another favorite is talking to my closest allies: my husband, a few cousins and very close friends. Each one of them has the ability to listen, without interrupting, and that’s all is needed in most cases. There are times when without my saying a word, they sense that something is wrong and I truly appreciate them for being quick stress-detectors. I hope that I can do the same for them when they need to vent.
We are often so busy dealing with our own stress that we don’t notice what people around us are going through, even if they live under the same roof. In these stressful times, I think it is essential to keep our radars on to be able to acknowledge other people’s stress and emotions. Never underestimate the power of a smile, a patient ear, an understanding nod and a hug. They can work wonders when someone is feeling down and dreadful.