In the midst of the holidays, wouldn’t it be great to have a stress-free day?
As a gift you can give to yourself over and over, we offer some truly simple techniques and suggestions that you can do anytime, anywhere. The trick is remembering to do them!
Be where you are. Are your thoughts somewhere in the past or rushing toward the future?
Relax regularly. As in, several times a day. It will become a wonderful habit.
Eat foods that nourish your body. What foods really fuel you?
Attempt new ways of doing the same old thing. Use your non-dominant hand, go a different route, switch up your routine.
Take time every day to move your body. It doesn’t have to be at the gym. Take a walk. Turn on music and dance.
Have fun. What’s the first thing that comes to mind that makes you smile? Makes you giggle?
Enjoy what you do as you do it. Find fun or joy in the small things and notice the good.
In other words… B.R.E.A.T.H.E.
Take in a slow deep breath. Better yet, several times a day try this: (Pro Tip: set an alarm every hour or so, so your brain doesn’t have to remember!)
Uncross your legs, feet, and arms.
Feel yourself sitting (or standing). Feel yourself being supported by your seat, or, if standing, feel where your feet connect with the ground.
Notice any tension or clenching (the forehead, jaw, butt, hands, and feet are notorious for clenching).
Breathe into that space. You don’t have to “do” anything, or “fix” anything, just breathe.
The simple act of slowing down your breath lets your body know it is safe.
Did you know that our bodies don’t know the difference between life-threatening stress and, “I’m late for work and there’s traffic” stress. To the body, it”s all the same. When the body receives stress signals, it will go into “fight or flight” mode. It really doesn’t matter what the cause of that stress is. The body produces hormones and other chemicals to protect itself during times of stress. Over time, if we live in a perpetual state of stress, our body simply cannot function properly.
When we breathe slowly and deeply, it signals the body to relax.
On the other hand, when the body feels safe and relaxed, it functions better. For example, the act of digesting your food must happen in a calm, relaxed state. We literally cannot digest our food if we are stressed. Proper digestions sets up all the other systems in our body to do their job well. By just taking those few seconds to breathe and shift from stressed to relaxed, you can feel an enormously positive impact on your overall health.
What are some of your best relaxation tips?