My top 5 ways to de-stress

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Unless you're a Buddhist monk, you have been a victim of stress at some time or the other. Not only does it damage your health and decrease your productivity, it also hampers relationships. Because those around us tend to bear the repercussions of our stressed selves. Short of taking a holiday, what can you do in an hour or less, to beat the demon called stress?

1. Watch a cartoon

I don't mean the noisy, action-oriented ones. Pick a 1970-80 Japanese anime and lose yourself in the tragic yet happy stories of little kids in the Swiss Alps, Canada and London. Cartoons require less mind space than films and adult television shows. They are innocent and merry and they remind us of the selves we used to be.

2. Gaze at the world outside my window

The best way to beat stress is to be actively idle. That sounds like an oxymoron, right? But that's exactly what I do on quiet weekend afternoons. I perch by the window and sit still for a while, watching the sky, the cats and the pigeons and the strangers on the street outside. I watch the flow of the world and something about its lazy pace soothes the tempest within me.

3. Go for a walk

For me, movement is worship. Let your feet be your wheels or go for a random ride in the first bus or train you see. Of course in Mumbai, public transport is not all that relaxing. So your best bet is to go for a walk. I don't always prefer to walk in parks. I like to explore unknown streets and memorise the names of new shops and buildings. Behaving like a tourist in my own city is a unique stress-buster for me.

4. Write a story

An even better way to beat stress than watching or reading a story is to create one. Put pen to paper and watch your thoughts refocus like magic. Once the process of ideation has begun, you will forget all about the stress-causer. You don't have to be a great writer and it doesn't have to be the world's best story. In fact, if writing isn't your cup of tea, you can even narrate a story to your child.

5. Bake a muffin

Elaborate cooking is not relaxing for all. For many, it may cause more stress instead of driving it away! But if you pick a dish that is simple yet aromatic, you are bound to feel calmer and rejuvenated when it's ready to eat. My favourite is a whole-wheat muffin. The aroma that fills the house when this simple dessert is being baked is like a treat for the senses. I adore baked products but I think I might enjoy preparing some lemon grass soup as well.

I am going to try a new quick way to de-stress & #SlowDownZindagi using Parachute Advansed Aromatherapy Oil in association with BlogAdda. Will you? Watch the new advert here: