With a traveling husband, a strong willed child, and a business for which I have to juggle between new product development, design sessions, marketing, blogging, social media, I can assure you that I have plenty of stress.
Stress has become a normal part of our modern life but I find that taking some time to relax every day (or every other day) gives me space and peace of mind – key for a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to invest a lot of time or thought into stress relievers. You definitely don’t need to wait for a spa weekend or a retreat to feel relaxed.
I have been taking a few minutes out to practice these natural stress relieving techniques on a daily and weekly basis to reduce stress and bring peace to my distressed heart. I Hope these tips inspire you to take the initiative to actively reduce stress in your life too.
1 – Reflecting
We need to realize that we aren’t the only ones in this world who are inflicted with stress. Our heart is the most precious gift from Allah. It’s our heart that really wants to get closer to Allah.
Hardships are meant to purify us and make us closer to Allah. Times of distress can help us realize how weak and fragile we are, and how much we depend on Allah for guidance.
Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while such [trial] has not yet come to you as came to those who passed on before you?” Al-Baqarah 2.214
So taking a pause to reflect makes you feel less stressed. Take five minutes before bed to breath deeply and spend time in the moment. Focus on your senses and reflect on what you have done, what are you grateful for, what can you do to improve your stress levels and ultimately how can we please Allah.
2 – Praying
When we offer salah, it’s actually a confession we are making that we alone can’t resolve our problems, because we are weak, fragile and easily broken. You are resting your faith on a Higher Power that’s Constant, Timeless and Divine when performing salah. This submission leads to healing a distressed heart.
If you don’t pray daily, take baby steps and start with just one and work your way.
3 – Reading The Qu’ran
Reconnecting with Allah is always a good way to relieve stress. Read the Qur’an and take solace from Allah’s wise words.
Take a few minutes out of your day to read the Qur’an, however much you can. Start off slowly and read a few lines of the Arabic or the translation if you’re not used to it. There are many Qur’an apps with translation. If reading the actual Qur’an seems heavy for you, start on a app. Make it a habit to read at least one ayah a day if not more.
4 – Exercising
Exercising is a great way to combat stress. Taking a walk allows you to enjoy a change of scenery, which can get you into a different frame of mind, and brings the benefits of exercise as well. Some free hand exercise at home or work out at the gym can be a major stress-reliever. Any kind of exercise releases healthy chemicals in your body to make you feel good. It can also energize you and relieve any anxiety you may have.
5 – Journaling
Journaling is proven by research to bring several health benefits in addition to stress relief. This is a highly recommended stress reliever. Keep a gratitude journal to help you remember all the things that are good in your life.
Regularly writing down your thoughts can help you clear your mind. Whether it’s writing down things you are grateful for or just organizing thoughts that have been bothering you can relax your mind. It helps clarify your sources of stress for you and redirects you to a healthier state of mind. When you start feeling stressed, spend a few minutes looking through your notes to remind yourself what really matters.
6 – Serving Others
Focusing on helping others can take your mind off your personal stressors and help you see the bigger picture. It can make you feel good about yourself while also helping others, resulting in a win-win situation. Find a community service opportunity you’re interested in and participate in it at least twice a month or once a week if possible.
7 – Coloring
Coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment. The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity. It is so important to take the time out of our busy lives to engage in such activities that take use of different parts of our brain and give ourselves some change in our daily routines.
8 – Being Out in Nature
Even if it’s just taking a walk in the park or standing in your backyard for a few minutes, reconnecting with nature is therapeutic. Find a scenic place around your neighborhood or town, and go hiking as a family or have a picnic lunch in your backyard to recharge.
We spend so much time inside or using technology, whether it be our laptop, phones, social media or watching Netflix shows, that we don’t get enough vitamin D we would naturally get from the sun. So taking a small part of your day to step outside can be very healing.
Yes, we are time pressed. But you must take out little time everyday for your health and well-being, as they are blessings from Allah.
This article was originally published at http://www.withaspin.com