Dubai can be a taxing city at the best of times, but stress hits the roof in summer
Dubai-based consultant health psychologist Melanie Schlatter (www.healthpsychuae.com) gives us cognitive and behavioural tips on how to de-stress.
1 Focus on what’s good ‘On the spot, name 10 things in your life that you are grateful for. This will help to take you outside of the stress and rumination and provide immediate perspective on what’s going right in your life.’
2 Deal with it ‘Don’t fester on a particular problem or person – if you do so, you’re wasting valuable energy. Do some active problem-solving to help you deal with the issue: write it down or talk to someone about it. The worries must be dealt with as soon as possible so they don’t create mental fatigue, as well as physical problems in the longer term.’
3 Change your state ‘Jump up from your chair and walk around, grin from ear to ear, do star-jumps, dance to your favourite music – do any kind of positive activity that conflicts with a negative state of mind. It will make remaining that way more difficult.’
4 Be flexible ‘If you have no stress at work, people consider you to be stuck in a stagnant job. Stress is unfortunately associated with career growth, and the more rigidity you exhibit, the more stressed you’ll get. It’s your reaction to a situation that creates stress. There is a good saying: “Whatever is rigid is bound to break.” Acting with a lack of flexibility normally stems from being attached to the way you want things done, whereas showing flexibility is having enough objectivity to see another person’s perspective. You can keep on trying to prove people wrong through passive resistance; you can constantly be in a state of conflict; or you can step back and take a deep breath: the moment you show someone that you respect them and want to work with them, rather than against them, they will want to respect you too and will be more considerate of your feelings. But don’t confuse this with being a doormat, because only strong individuals can exhibit this behaviour.’
The Chinese medicine practitioner
Dr Maria Ridao Alonso is head of Chinese medicine and ozone therapy at Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre (www.dubaihtc.com). She gives us her tips for quick relief.
5 Take a deep breath ‘Breathe in and hold the breath for a few seconds, then breathe out as slowly as you can: in through your nose and out through the mouth. Repeat three times.’
6 Use pressure points ‘If you’re feeling the pressure, use your fingertips to massage both sides of your forehead and the point just between the eyebrows above your nose to de-stress. Or, if you feel like fainting, massage the point just below the septum of your nose (the area between your nostrils).’
7 The perfect potion ‘Carry a bottle of natural Bach Rescue Remedy [available at www.bachflower.com] with you and put four drops on your tongue.’ If stress continues, Maria would look for imbalances in a person, asking about headaches, sleep, digestion, cold hands and feet and a dry mouth.
Time Out’s tips
How Body and Mind editor Nyree Barrett maintains a vague sense of Zen in the face of deadlines.
8 Take a bath ‘It sounds like the lamest tip known to man, but skip the shower and give yourself 10 minutes a day to soak in the bath. You’re guaranteed to feel better.’
9 Flash your pearlies ‘Wake up tomorrow and decide you will smile at all the people you interact with. Your day will be happier for it: smiles breed smiles.’
10 Write a list ‘Feel like you’ve got so much to do you don’t know where to start? When you leave work each night, write a note detailing what you want to achieve the following day. You’ll feel satisfaction when you tick each point off, and you’ll also realise it’s achievable when breaking it up into bite-sized pieces. Just make sure not to beat yourself up if you don’t complete the list – life is unpredictable, and things sometimes get in the way.’