“Stress is the pandemic of the 21st century” said the WHO and then Covid-19 came along. However, with the outbreak, it’s fair to assume stress levels have gone through the roof. Work from home creates workplace stress, dealing with lockdown is difficult, you’re unable to meet friends and loved ones too. There are a host of other issues which Covid-19 has created in our day to day lives, but extra stress is definitely one of those. Since stress will usually manifest itself in your body through headaches, tension or discomfort, it’s important to know hacks to reduce stress and feel better. Hence, the Pause, Introspect & Locate (PIL) method can help you reduce stress.
How does the PIL method help reduce stress?
This method involves staying in the present moment and mindfully introspecting your body. In many regards it is similar to a body scan meditation as well. It will help locate physical sensations in your body that may be causing discomfort or be a sign of stress. As a result, you can reduce stress.
Pause. When you start feeling overwhelmed or notice your stress rising, take a moment to pause. Take a break from whatever you’re doing with the aim to reduce stress. It’s okay if you have only 5 minutes or less, this is a quick process. Sit on a chair, with your back straight or lie down on your back if you can.
Introspect. Once you’re comfortable, start to introspect. You can do this with your eyes closed or open, whatever you prefer. Start to reflect and examine your own thoughts and feelings. What is the cause of your stress? How does the stress affect you and those around you? Where in your body can you feel the stress? Let the thoughts flow into your mind and stay in the present, being aware of these thoughts without reacting to them.
Locate. As you take a few moments to introspect and reflect, start to notice how your body is responding to your thoughts. Stress usually manifests itself as tension or knots in the neck, shoulder, hands or legs. Feel the discomfort in your body and locate the spots that are bothering you. Once you find them, know those are the points where you are feeling stressed. Just be aware of the location of the discomfort and don’t force a change. Your body will adjust itself, let go of the discomfort and reduce stress on its own. That’s the beauty of your brain and the systems within you! In case the discomfort persists, practice light stretching, massage the body part or take a small walk to ease the tension and reduce stress.
As a result of this simple exercise, you can reduce stress and tension from your body within minutes. Over time, you will be able to proactively understand the pressure points of your body and respond to stress in an effective manner! In order to manage your overall stress levels, do ensure you eat right, sleep enough, practice stress management and take time to unplug post work! Even meditation can work wonders in reducing stress, try it today!
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