Chill out to live better

PHOTO: Chill out to live better

Any doctor will tell you that stress can hinder human performance. But the problem is, most people are not aware of the fact that stress is already affecting them.

Health and fitness are elements of the larger concept called human performance. And whether we like it or not, we need to find better ways to combat stress.

You are familiar with the popular expressions "relax lang", "cool it", "chill". And there are as many ways to do just that as there are ways of expressing the need to simply calm down.

Here are ways to shut yourself out from the rigors of living.

1. Cut off

Imagine you have a pair of scissors. Use it to cut the cord that connects you to the world.

2. Lights out

Turn off the glaring lights in your office or bedroom. Try a little candlelight for a change (but practice caution so you don't leave it unattended). Sit in the darkness for at least five minutes each day.

3. Drink in

The goodness, of course. When you're feeling low, whether physically or emotionally or intellectually drained, the best salvo is a sip of hot ginger or chamomile tea. Its effect on the body-mind connection is instant. Ginger stimulates the metabolism and quickly warms the body. Chamomile relaxes muscles and relieves tension quickly.  

4. Silent practice

The more we embrace the silence within us, the more the body will benefit from it. Meditation, the act of being still while emptying the mind (preceded by prayer, if you wish) provides tremendous benefits to the body. For one, it calms the heart, saving you a few heartbeats, and removes tension on the face. The final result is anti-aging.  

5. Touch therapy

The power of touch through massage is one of the best ways to ease the body. Massage alone by a professional therapist is the surest way to also heal the physical body. Once muscles are relaxed, the mind is soothed as well. According to LA-based therapist Marie Escudero, who studied at Americana College, the most popular forms of massage today are Swedish, shiatsu, deep tissue (for sports injuries) and myo-facial.

6. Walk for life

Slow, easy walking is the most failsafe way to good health. Not only will it increase your life expectancy, it will also calm the mind. The elderly will also benefit greatly from walking. Regular 20-30 minutes' easy walking daily will make you look better and live longer. Non-walking exercises are cycling, running and aerobic exercise. Whatever your choice, just choose.  

7. Eat right

Relaxing foods: fish, eggs, yoghurt, beans, peanuts, walnuts, oats, liver, soybeans, cabbage, root crops like sweet potato, whey (the liquid portion of soured or curdled milk), green leafy veggies, avocados, pumpkins and cantaloupe.