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5 Expert Ways To Overcome Stress & Deal With Loneliness

Some great tips from a regional pioneer of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fitness hot on the heels of Meghan Markle’s interview, when she claimed she had suicidal thoughts…

With so many people feeling loneliness, isolation and anxiety, which have changed how people socialise throughout the day according to studies, managing wellbeing and mental health has become a top priority. Renowned wellness expert, human relations coach, and the first Compassionate Inquiry Therapist in the Arab world, Nancy Zabaneh, has shared five effective and easily achievable ways to ease that mental anguish.

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1. Enjoy more time in the great outdoors

Ask a friend or a loved one to join you and spend time outside, whether your jam is going for a neighbourhood walk, to the beach or a drive outside the city into the mountains. “I love driving out to the Hajar mountains and to the Northern Emirates. Hiking is a wonderful activity, as well as regular beach walks," the Dubai-based Zabaneh says. “We are blessed to live by the sea here in the UAE.”

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2. Take up something new

Whether you fancy taking a course online, learning a new skill or refining what you already know, it all helps. “Training in different modalities not only allows me to upgrade my skill set in multiple areas, but also keeps me engaged with the outside world,” says Zabaneh, who founded Darshan, a training, seminar and event curator that builds grassroots connections while offering service, education and inspiration.

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3. Keep in touch with others

Connect with your local community, drawing on integrative study, practice and teaching across the globe to support others in realising their fullest potential, Zabaneh advises. The quickest way out of the neurosis of the mind is to serve. Whether it is cooking for friends who are unwell, reaching out to the elderly or volunteering at the local shelter, donate your time to people in need.

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4. Sign up for a Kundalini yoga session

A mindful tip is to get your energy from prana instead of adrenaline.  The rhythmic flow of Kundalini yoga restores the nervous and glandular systems and releases old stress response patterns from the body. A typical Kundalini yoga class involves chanting mantras that help to cut through the endless wheel of subconscious chatter in the mind, all the while building our pranic and radiant bodies. This induces a space of calm and vitality, according to Zabaneh, an active Kundalini yoga teacher and trainer with the New Mexico-based Aquarian Teacher Academy.

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5. Book an appointment with a therapist

Zabaneh, who offers counselling to help others realise compassionate connection with the source of their issues, explains what she does in her sessions. “My approach is very holistic - engaging the mind, body and spirit and incorporating everything from meditation and kriya-based work in between sessions, to journaling and accountability practices,” says the counsellor who believes there is still a stigma associated with being in therapy, particularly in the Arab world, that prevents people from seeking the help they need.

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