As a new day approaches our mindset may be met with motivation or anxiety as what is to unravel within the hours of the day. We all at some point face days, weeks and even months that feel stupidly busy and sometimes over whelming, and with that may come serious bouts of stress.
Did you know that our physical bodies literally hold and store stress? If we are feeling overwhelmed with work, running here there and everywhere, relationship and money pressure we can catch our bodies literally becoming smaller, our head that was once held high, a tall and confident stance, easy breathing and relaxed shoulders seemed to have disappeared.
Relaxation is important to allow your body to physically heal, the mind to find balance and calm. Stress is a natural and healthy response to danger, conflict and can be life saving, BUT it isn't good for our bodies physically or emotionally to remain in the state of 'flight or fight' (ready for battle as it were) every day from the smallest things like missing the train, spilling something down your shirt, being late, forgetting something from the shop, the kids have made a mess, you broke the oven! The list can go on...
With the power of self care time and a little more knowledge you can bring yourself back into a place of calm. Your body will feel a little less rigid and you will also start to breathe easier.
It's important to find and create the time to focus on yourself, rest, unwind and truly relax. Easier said than done I know, but I hope the following tips are helpful for you!
Take 5 minutes to breathe.
Breathing is something that can have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing, the more oxygen we can fill the body with day to day the more benefits we can gain. Try a breathing pattern where you inhale through the nose to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 7. Nasal breathing can help the body connect to the para sympathetic nervous system (rest & digest). Therefore, relaxing muscular pain and tension, boosting circulation, body healing and a calmer mind.
Learn to be in the moment.
This is a simple technique that will help you to tune into the here and now, once you're focused on the here and now and teach yourself to be present within the moment you cant let the mind wander (or go off on one) about the past or future. The past we cannot change, the future isn't here, what matters most is how much more present we can be right here, right now. This way you have more of an appreciation for the smallest things, which over time will bring more peace and happiness...
Simply pay attention to what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Can you name 3 things of each?
Try Yin Yoga.
Yin Yoga is one of the most beneficial of practices to releasing stress, tension, heightened emotions and anxiety. We hold postures (normally 5-6 within an hours class) for a long period of time, the difference to Yin in comparison to a 'flow' class is the postures are passive, you use pillows, bolsters and blocks to support the body. We move into the pose slowly to find our edge or resistance and we then stay there, we don't force the body deeper we just allow the body to stretch and release at its own pace. Personally its my absolute go to practice when ever I get a few hours to myself. It makes you so calm and seriously sleepy!
Want to try Yin? I teach it online every Monday evening!
Release with this simple body scan.
This is a great relaxation that can be done anytime, you can do it seated but its better lying down. Let the body relax in a comfortable position and then take your time to body scan from your feet up towards the head. Starting at the feet we take an inhale and engage the body parts one at a time. Flexing or pointing the feet, as you exhale let them relax. Continue this until you reach your face, eyes are closed, clench the jaw, scrunch the nose and as you exhale let it relax. You can carry this through out your day, noticing if your holding tension unconsciously and then breathing into yourself to relax.