Table of Contents
- 1 7 Strategies to Relieve Stress Naturally
- 2 Be Refreshed With Tips On Natural Stress Relief!
- 3 You Need Natural Stress and Anxiety Relief
- 4 Finding Stress Relievers To Improve Your Life
- 5 To Relieve Stress – Stress Relief and Management
- 6 Good Stress Relievers
- 7 Helpful Advice For Helping To Relieve Stress
- 8 Relieve Stress Know the Meditation Essentials
- 9 School Stress Relievers
- 10 Tips to Relieve Work Related Stress
- 11 Yoga Works Wonders To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
- 12 Ways to Relieve Stress
- 13 Are You Wondering How To Relieve Stress?
7 Strategies to Relieve Stress Naturally
It has been said that the only constant in this life is change, but change often causes a lot of stress in our lives. Stress management is a skill that will allow you to be able to stop and assess the situation before you react habitually in a way that does not serve you.
Here are 7 simple strategies that you can learn and use for stress and anxiety relief wherever you are:
Our breath is what reminds us that we are alive. It is the vehicle for spirit and the perfect way to anchor our attention in the present moment. Using deep, mindful, cleansing breaths is a stress relief technique that works every time to snap you out of a downward spiral.
The practice of meditation is the perfect way to train your mind to be calm and to focus inward where there is peace instead of outward where there is stress and chaos. Whether you use silent meditation where you simply focus your attention on the breath, or a guided mediation where you listen to a voice that is guiding you to find your centre and your connection between mind, body and spirit, incorporating a meditation practice into your daily routine will reduce stress in your life in a tangible, measurable way almost immediately.
Repeating affirming phrases, like a mantra, can be very soothing to the mind and the body. Whether said out loud or inside your head, phrases such as, “I am calm. I am at peace. All is well,” will help you to feel more serene and centred. If you are moving towards a situation that you think could be stressful, repeating affirmations in advance can put you in a more resourceful place allowing you to face the challenge with an abundance of grace and calm.
Cut back or eliminate sugary, refined foods from your diet and adding in lots of living foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, water and tea instead of sugary soft drinks, and taking vitamin and mineral supplements helps your body attain a state of optimal health so that you have the energy and vitality to deal with the challenges you face each day.
If you believe in the existence of a higher power, prayer is the ultimate stress relief technique because through prayer we acknowledge that we are relying on the strength that we receive from Source or the Universe to help us to overcome the stressful challenges of each day.
Expressing sincere gratitude for life and for all that we have is the gateway to abundance, peace and joy. Gratitude creates more space in our lives, and it communicates to the Universe and our Creator that we are thankful for what we have and that we are open to receive more. It is impossible to feel stressed-out and full of gratitude at the same time.
None of us is perfect, so forgiveness is the gift that we give to others that wipes the slate clean giving them another chance to get it right. It is also a wonderful gift to give ourselves because we are often our own worst enemy when we flog ourselves for not living up to our own expectations.
In this chaotic world, it is of vital importance to learn some specific ways in which we can relieve stress naturally so that its effects do not begin to take a toll on our health and vitality.
Be Refreshed With Tips On Natural Stress Relief!
Quite a large number of people have, for so many years, ignored the beneficial effects on natural methods especially use of herbs as medicine. Even so, alternative medicines and other natural health methods, including natural stress relief methods, are becoming significantly popular all over the world today.
There are various signs and symptoms of stress including loss or addition of weight, moodiness, restlessness, digestive system problems etc. It is advisable that one should take action once these signs appear in order to reduce the probability of developing serious illnesses related to stress.
Among the many natural stress relief methods lies meditation, which is extremely helpful as it allows one to relax and refocus. When one meditates, the body is restored to a peaceful state; as a result; the effects or stress are reversed. The good thing about meditation is that it you can do it in the comfort of your home. All you have to do is buy a meditation DVD or CD, which are quite inexpensive. Exercising is also a great method of relieving stress. Medical experts have shown that when one exercises, stress hormones are eliminated, and endorphins (hormones that uplift one’s moods) are released into the body.
Getting a good massage is not only relaxing, but is also remarkably beneficial in stress relief. A good massage helps in reducing muscle tension, headaches and other physical disorders that are associated with stress. Other natural products commonly used for natural stress relief include Lemon oil that is said to enhance ones mood and help individuals that are depressed.
In addition, there is Valerian, an herb that promotes sleep and used for treating cramping muscles at the neck area and thus promotes serenity. Passionflower, used to make a wide range of stress release products, acts as a tranquilizer and helps in establishing stability in anxiety levels of a person. Others include catnip, kava and bergamot.
You Need Natural Stress and Anxiety Relief
Today’s society is more stressed out than ever before, and for a variety of different reasons. These reasons include stress in the workplace, and stress trying to maintain personal relationships. If you find that your lifestyle is making you feel more and more stressed, you can find help through various natural stress and anxiety relief ideas.
Natural Stress and Anxiety Relief Idea #1: Peppermint
Often, stress and anxiety manifest themselves in physical ways, such as stomach discomfort and nausea. If nausea is a common problem you experience when you are under stress, then try peppermint as a form of natural stress and anxiety relief.
Peppermint comes in various forms, but as an herb, it has been used for a long time to help with nausea. Today, peppermint can be most popularly found in hard candy or gum. However, these often contain a lot of sugar, so for a healthier alternative, try drinking some organic peppermint tea.
Natural Stress and Anxiety Relief Idea #2: Rest
The source of many nervous breakdowns occurs not just because of stress, but from the tiredness that results from stress. If you are finding that stress is plaguing your everyday life more and more, chances are that your nervous system is lacking rest. Make time each day to nap, or at least make sure that you get 8 hours of sleep per night. Over time, you will find that rest makes all the difference.
Natural Stress and Anxiety Relief Idea #3: Water
Another reason why people begin to feel more and more stress is because they ingest large amount of alcohol or caffeine, which can cause anxiety and dehydration. To avoid feeling stressed out as often, cut back on the caffeine and make sure that you drink enough water to remain properly hydrated.
For More Information
There are just several examples of natural stress and anxiety relief that you can try. Magazines often offer many different ideas, and you can also search the internet. Surround yourself with the people and things that you love.
Also, be sure to exercise, as that is a great way to keep the body healthy as well as reduce stress. Perhaps the most important thing is to be sure to take time out for you each day. After all, the most effective combatant against stress is taking care of your physical and mental health.
Finding Stress Relievers To Improve Your Life
Long term and consistent stress can bring even the strongest person to their knees. While a small amount of stress can help motivate us in our daily schedule, large doses of stress can greatly impact our physical and emotional health. In order to reduce the effects of stress brought on by the pressures of daily life, it’s essential to find appropriate stress relievers to bring balance to your mind and body.
Stress takes many forms in our life work, home, family, relationships, or a particularly stressful event but whatever form it comes in, the results are often the same. A myriad of physical and emotional manifestations including sleep disturbances, weight loss and gain, depression, high blood pressure, decreased sex drive, and a host of other symptoms. Finding those stress relievers that allow our minds and bodies to relax if even for a short period of time will greatly lessen the hold with which stress grabs us.
For some, stress relievers come in the form of a daily and committed exercise program that offers a release for tense muscles. One solid hour of just focusing yourself can loosen the grip of stress, bringing your blood pressure down, and giving your heart a healthy way to spend some time.
Yoga, in particular, happens to be a wonderful form of exercise when it comes to stress relievers. Those who practice yoga are asked to hold postures that stretch and relax the physical body. At the same time, they are asked to supplement the posture with deep and cleansing breaths. These breathing techniques alone can be enough to alleviate stress.
Other forms of stress relievers include meditation, acupuncture, frequent massage, and a number of other physical activities.
Additionally, for those in search of stress relievers they may be no further than their favourite activities. Engaging in hobbies and activities that bring joy and peace to your life can be just the thing to alleviate stress. Search out those things that you love and make a commitment to participating in them at least weekly. The main concern is making time for yourself; once you understand that making yourself a priority is one of the best stress relievers, you’re more likely to make it a part of your life.
Stress relievers like the stress itself come in many forms. Take the time out of your busy life to find those stress relievers that work specifically for you. You’ll be rewarded with decreased stress and much improved physical and emotional health.
To Relieve Stress – Stress Relief and Management
Are you going through one of those times when you find nothing funny? Do people think you’re just rude with no funny bones? Perhaps you’re more focused on working than enjoying, but you still can let off some steam and stress like all the other people.
Every individual is different. Some people are just born serious. They are into subjects like politics, philosophy, scientific theories and so on. For them, life does not have to be wasted around ‘pointless activities’ like fictional reading, video games or parties.
Being a serious person is no crime. But if that seriousness is coupled with stress then that’s not right at all. You have to be engaged in those ‘pointless’ activities, and any physician would suggest that to you. Haven’t you heard that laughter is the best medicine? You’re not diseased, but depression itself is a form of ailment that can corrode you away. Thus, you need to get involved in fun activities to lower those stress levels and boost up your mood.
People who have that touch of seriousness have planned out their own day, and that too alone. If you tell them to prioritize their activities, they’ll place reading at the top and socializing down in the pits. On the other hand, you can’t really call it soothing, because you’re too serious to actually enjoy.
While reading and studying have its own place in your time table, you need to loosen up and have some fun out there. You need to socialize with people, because it has certain advantages that you can’t get by staying aloof from meeting people. You’ll have better memory (well, you have to remember all the people you meet!), you’ll develop self-confidence and last but not the least; your body will respond to the changes positively and will limit the production of those hormones that are causative agents of stress.
Here’s a really fun fact; once you start letting go of that stress via laughter you’re actually doing some aerobic exercise. If you laugh like a 100 times a day, you can consider that you’ve worked out on a gym bicycle or rowing machine for more than 15 minutes! And laughing is way easier than working out, isn’t it?
There are several health aids that you gain once you start the battle against stress with fun as your sword. Your blood pressure will be kicked down and that immunity will get a healthy push. Your facial and body muscles benefit from the laughing, and you start getting used to the happiness instead of the anxiety.
Since people function differently, some find it very easy to find laughter amidst comedy shows or video games. On the other hand, some people might find it quite tough to let go of the seriousness for a while and be a child at heart. For them you need a little bit of time and a drop of motivation.
Start with recalling all the activities that you did as a child or still want to do. After that, motivate yourself to set aside your seriousness and let yourself have a little fun. You’ll soon feel that your stress levels are decreasing! Not only that, these little activities will give you a period of recreation before you start working or studying again.
Good Stress Relievers
As people age and worries about heart conditions and other serious medical problems arise, the need to reduce stress often creates a little bit of stress all on its own. Since this very natural reaction to pressure can cause some rather unsavoury medical conditions if it is left unchecked, just about everyone can benefit from looking into stress relievers that work for them.
While some people might believe the only good stress relievers come in a prescription bottle or psychologist’s office, this is simply not the case. There are some very simple stress relievers anyone can put into play in daily life. Although, they might not tackle the source of stress itself, these stress relievers can lessen tension and help people recharge and focus on what is really important. In fact, some of the best stress relievers don’t even cost money.
Stress relievers don’t have to come in the form of expensive prescriptions or budget-busting vacations. There are many things people can do to ease the impacts of tension without spending more than a few dollars at the most.
Some of the best include:
Laughing: Even the Mayo Clinic point this as one of the best tension busters in the world. The effects of laughing relieve tension, improve the immune system and can even improve mood. Good, old fashion belly laughter is excellent for the mind, body and soul.
Exercise: Something as simple as a scenic walk around a neighbourhood at the end of a long day can help a person unwind let go and relax. Exercise in any form is great as far as stress relievers go and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Mental vacations: It might be impossible to afford a vacation to the south of France, but no one says a person cannot go there in their mind. Visualizing relaxing situations can be almost as good as actually experiencing them.
Quality time: Carving out even a few minutes a day to spend with the people that really matter can work wonders. Playing with children, watching TV with a spouse or even playing a game are all excellent ideas for letting go of stress and focusing the mind on what truly matters.
Bubble bath: There is something to be said for taking a hot bubble bath and maybe even lighting some scented candles. This is an excellent way to remove tension from the body and help ease thoughts that race through the mind.
Stress relievers are anything that can help a person unwind, relax and let go. They do not have to come in prescription form to be effective. In fact, some of the best cost nothing at all.
Helpful Advice For Helping To Relieve Stress
Never fear, there are many different ways to overcome stress. Here are some tips on getting you going and leaving that stress behind you.
Focus on keeping your level of stress as low as possible. Practice relaxing your jaw in order to break the habit of grinding your teeth. This should relieve some of the stress and help you feel better.
Use a ten point system to rate the things that give you stress in your life.
The best way to beat stress and relax is to become active and exercise. This won’t always bring an instant result, but it is part of a long-term plan that pays off in the long run. This will help reduce tension and also help a person to feel in control and boost self-confidence.
Relax your jaw and try to quit grinding your teeth. The jaw is a very common place to carry stress, usually in the form of a clenched jaw.
If you live in your own house, you have the right to garden as you please and where you please.
Use aromatherapy to reduce your stress. Playing alone can help, or playing with a friend can be even more fun.
Find out what are the major causes of your life’s stress, then figure out how to decrease them as much as you can, or completely get rid of them altogether.
Anytime you experience a funny event or hear a joke, you should write it down. Stress can be caused by a wide variety of factors, so you should first try to identify exactly what is causing you to feel stressed. If it is caused by something avoidable, simply remove that from your life.
Pick up a hobby and try your hand at arts and crafts to help you relieve stress. Your mind just lets go and relaxes when you do something that does not involve a deadline. While having a couple beers among friends is fun, drinking beer every single day to calm your nerves is bad.
Being honest can cut down on your stress and anxiety levels. Research shows that even minor dishonesty can bring on enormous feelings of guilt and cause anxiety over being found out.
Lower key music has been shown to soothe. Reducing stress through listening to music is a helpful technique. Listening to your favourite music can relax your mind and create a peaceful atmosphere. Music selection is subjective, so it is important to make choices that appeal to you personally in order for to you achieve the stress reduction that you are looking for. Listening to music you like will cause your brain to release serotonin, which will make you feel calm and happier.
If you are using unhealthy habits to deal with stress, look for better and healthier habits for yourself.
Practicing deep breathing exercises can reduce stress. When we are in stressful situations our breathing becomes shallow and rapid; learning the proper way to breathe will help lower the amount of tension and stress you are feeling in your everyday life. This is a guaranteed way to relieve stress, and should be a daily ritual for you.
One way to reduce the effects of stress is to make your lifestyle as healthy as possible. Eating better, exercising more and sleeping for a full eight hours per night are all proven to reduce anxiety.
If you are experiencing too much stress, turn on some relaxing music. If you’re feeling stressed, turn your favourite type of music on your radio or iPod and relax. Many self-hypnosis advocates believe that the treatment allowed them to overcome irritation from the minor annoyances that had once sent them into overdrive.
Managing your time will effectively reduce your stress. Your mind and body are both under stress if you are always in a hurry to complete your tasks. If you like the way that you smell during the day, you will automatically feel better about yourself, which will help you to combat your stress with full force.
Relieve Stress Know the Meditation Essentials
Relieve stress by going deeper into your meditation practice by exploring and consolidating the essentials of successful meditation. You can start your meditation journey from as little as 5 minutes or 10 minutes a day to one hour as you progress gradually in a disciplined manner. Gaining stable mental condition that resonate peace and joy is the foundation of all meditation practice.
Place to Meditate
It is important that you meditate ideally without distractions in the beginning. Choose a room or corner in your house where you are least likely to be disturbed. Choose a room that you associate with rest and peace. Tell your family members not to disturb you for the specific amount of time. Switch off your mobile and mute the ringer of your home phone. Make sure that your surroundings are clutter free and serene.
However, this is not essential and you can choose a corner that is most pleasant in your home. You may choose to keep the objects you associate with calmness and rest in front of your meditation stool or cushion. Burn an incense to activate the setting for the meditation.
You can play a CD of your favourite relaxation music to set the scene for meditation. However, switch off the music if you find yourself drifting off to sleep while enjoying it. You may choose to keep flowers, candles or crystals or the pictures of your religious symbols to create an ambience for meditation. Wear loose and comfortable clothing for sitting meditation. All you need to meditate is your mind only. The other things do not matter once you become an advanced practitioner.
Any sounds or distractions in the environment that are beyond your immediate control need to be brought into awareness as fleeting like your emotions and thoughts. Treat them like a cloud that is floating out of awareness as you focus on the object of your meditation. Do not let feelings of resentment or anger for those who cause noises distract you into the train of negative thoughts.
This will surely not help you to relieve stress if you let negative thoughts overtake you! Stay conscious to be balanced!
School Stress Relievers
School stress relievers are good at helping you overcome stress in common school life. School can be a stressful time when it will start to get serious at about the age of 16 or so. I find this to be mainly because we do not get taught good enough strategies in learning about controlling our stress levels but we get taught too much about boring rote memorization. Here are some tips and tricks to do that.
Revision limitation – Every day you should aim to do revision for a pre determined amount of time. For example, let us use 1 hour. This will force you to get the maximum done in that time and will make you aware that you have to concentrate on the essential tasks and delete the rest of them. This will also mean that you will not be scared about them all the time thinking thoughts like “Do I need to revise a little more today?” because you know you have hit your limit. Spend more time with your friends and getting out more often.
Revising with your buddies – If you decide that it is a good idea to revise with your friends then this means that you have to pick ones that will help you. Stay away from those who will distract you and pick the ones that will help you out. These tend to be the ones who are more quiet and good in the areas in which you are weak.
Controlling your stress – We get taught all sorts of rubbish in school about learning things but the most important thing that is missed out is how to control our stress levels. One great way to do this is through concentration meditation, commonly known as mindfulness. Start putting your total concentration into everything that you do and do no t multi task and you will hone this skill.
Talking to your friends – At this moment, you are unlikely to be the only one out of all of your friends that is feelings stressed in school. Give each other help and tips about how to relieve yourself of the stress. Sometimes it is just fantastic to have someone listen to you and is a great school stress reliever in itself.
Tips to Relieve Work Related Stress
Statistics never lie! Recent studies have unveiled the fact that work related stress can have tarnishing impact on an individual’s life. The extent of damage can go beyond imagination. Of late, the World Health Organization has confirmed the fact that nearly 80 to 90% of the illnesses have a direct or indirect relationship with stress.
Researchers reckon that more than 50% individuals are willing to part off with a small share of their salary against a day off from work. This just goes to showcase the amount of work related stress a person undergoes in his/her daily life.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways by which one can combat work related stress effectively. Let’s have a look at these measures:
Pay heed to what you eat
As you may already know that the energy we derive to perform our work comes from food. Intake of unhealthy food can cause health issues which will impact your productivity at work, or for that matters leave you with lots of pending work, if you take a day off from work due to illness. Consumption of healthy food will not only supply your body with more energy, but will also refresh your mind.
Studies have confirmed the fact that excessive intake of coffee can increase stress levels. Limit the intake of these beverages at your workplace to reduce stress in your life.
Exercise is a great way to unwind for the day. Exercises are responsible for releasing a feel good hormone which eradicates stress from our lives.
Plan in advance
It’s always a great idea to get up ten minutes early in the morning and plan things in advance to ensure that you do not encounter last minute stress which can spoil your entire day. These 10 minutes will contribute a lot to reduce the day to day stress from your life.
Yoga Works Wonders To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
While 1 would be a little troublesome, 10 would be awful. This exercise can help you to not sweat the small stuff.
TIP! Make sure you aren’t carrying tension in your jaw.
When we are stressed out, the tension will focus somewhere in our bodies; most commonly in the jaw. Take the time to be proactive about your health to alleviate your stress. Having frequent suspicions about your health will of course bring on more stress, but avoiding steps in preventative care is a great risk to your long term health.
This exercise will help you to relieve tension and stop clenching your jaw.
TIP! Stay active and get enough exercise to beat stress.
This won’t always bring an instant result, but it is part of a long-term plan that pays off in the long run.
When you constantly tell yourself that you are something before long, it becomes true this cover stress as well.
This won’t always bring an instant result, but it is part of a long-term plan that pays off in the long run. You must strive to figure out which parts of your life bring you the most anxiety and why.
If you find your muscles are tense from stress, an excellent choice for unwinding would be a professional massage. Tense muscles are a sign of stressed being carried on the body. A great massage can not only help you relax, but it also leaves you feeling less stressed.
You can use music to help relieve stress. Music has a profound effect on us. Researchers have found that just petting an animal for a few minutes can help to relieve stress.
There are some things that can cause you stress without you even realizing it. If one of your major stress factors is something that is not necessary, then by all means, remove it.
You will not be stressed over details if you are prepared.TIP! If you are in a work environment where you are able to choose your own music it can actually help you a great deal. Aim for your playlist to include music that is more down tempo or in a lower key, as this will provide you with a more relaxed frame of mind.
Take a few deep breaths before acting to get good control of bad situations. Remove yourself from the situation at hand and give yourself time to breathe deeply. After counting to ten, you should be able to rejoin the setting with no ill effects.
Meditation is a good way to forget about your stress. Not only does it relax tense muscles, but it gives your mind a rest. Your daily life will be more relaxing if you take the time to relax every day. This will also help control your stress levels in even the tensest situations.
TIP! Minimize stress by investing in a small bottle of fragrant spearmint oil.
Whenever you feel stressed out, dab a little on your temples and neck. Imagine calming scenes to relieve your stress. By visualizing calmness, you can reduce the anxiousness you are feeling. This is reported to prove quite effective.
Take time to close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere happy and calm where your troubles are wiped away. This of a steaming scented bath or a tropical vacation where you are lazing away on the golden sands for example. By taking the time to apply the tips you learned here, you can relax and unburden yourself of the weight of the world.
Ways to Relieve Stress
Drugs relieve stress but that’s not a long-term solution. Prescription stress relievers can leave you addicted and sadder than ever. Many doctors recommend a brisk walk around the block, racing up and down stairs or even walking the dog. Movement gets the tension out of your muscles. Fresh air and a change of pace clear your mind.
One of the symptoms of stress is being too serious too long. Laugh on purpose. Smile at people and even into the mirror. Stretching your facial muscles can put a good look on your face. That can be a big relief. Listen to comedy on videos and CDs. Do it on your lunch breaks and share laughs with your colleagues.
Meditation is a time-honoured technique, a “how to reduce stress” kit you can take wherever you go. Buy some books about that.
Massages are effective stress reducers Have a professional give you a full rubdown, or just do your feet. Facials can be very soothing. They give your face a healthy glow to go with the smile of relief.
One of the easiest ways to relieve stress is to do Guided Imagery. Read up on that online or in the library. Guided Imagery means you can imagine the outcome you want, focus on it, and control your mood with it. Guided Imagery is famous for healing sick people in many different ways. Give it a go.
Ladies, put tea light in the four corners of your bathtub. Fill the tub with a pleasant scent (essential oils from health food shops are good for that) and turn off the lights.
Guys, do something nice for oneself. Make a decent meal your mom would be proud of. Treat yourself well.
When you’re ready to really relax and let go of life’s downside, read a good book. Pick one that interests you and settle down with it. A flight of fancy is one of the best ways to relieve stress.
Are You Wondering How To Relieve Stress?
Some people have referred to stress as the ‘plague of today’, because so many these days are suffering from it, and it has almost become part of everyone’s life. The problem arises when stress becomes too much to the extent of causing heart ailments, hypertension and other disorders. There are many stress relief methods with aromatherapy being the most recommended method after meditation, massage and exercise.
This is because aromatherapy is easy to use and besides that, it has a pleasant smell. It involves the use of natural oils that are extracted from barks, roots, leaves stems and flowers for improving one’s mental and physical health. These oils are essentially applied to the skin, or inhaled in order to promote quick stress relief and mood enhancement.
In aromatherapy, once a person inhales these oils, the body links up the scent to the limbic system of the brain via the olfactory nerve. Consequently, the brain triggers the production of neurotransmitters, which are then released and help the central nervous system to relax; hence reducing stress. Aromatherapy has very few (if any) side effects unlike other medication, and is quite convenient. This has made it a favourite stress remedy to many people.
Some of these essential oils include basil that helps to relax the mind. Basil also reduces negative thoughts and improves a person’s concentration levels. Eucalyptus is another essential oil whose pleasant and soothing smell enables one to become creative and to think clearly. It is said to be a powerful stress reliever and counters the effects of confusion, restlessness as well as lethargy in causing stress.
On the other hand, cinnamon helps with the reduction of mental anxiety and enhances optimism. Then there is rosemary, lavender, cedar wood and marjoram. Lavender’s sweet smell invokes feelings of serenity and clears the mind.
Sumanta Mandal is involved in healthcare market research since 2008. He is passionate about herbal health, organic health and alternative medicines. He has written many articles on various health care topics.