When was the last time you felt stressed? No matter who you are, where you are or what you do for a living, chances are you experience stress. There's no denying that we live in this hyper-stressed era glorifying busy, worshipping at the alter of technology, tethered to our smartphones, and spending uninterrupted hours staring at glowing screens. It’s a little wonder an epidemic health crisis is unfolding -- sleep disorders, fatigue, burnout, chronic stress and anxiety. But there are a range of tools we can use to help our body, mind and wellbeing to quell stress. Here are our top 4 Ways You Can Calm Down When You're Stressed.
Take Three Deep Breaths
We're not talking about those quick, short and sharp chest breaths. We're talking about three big, deep, expansive inhalations and exhalations to your full capacity. These have the power to switch us into our Parasympathetic System or Relaxation Response. Try it this way:
Step One: Find a comfortable seat, lengthen the spine, soften the shoulders, relax at the jaw
Step Two: Take your hands and gently place them to the outer lower ribs
Step Three: Take a normal organic cycle of breath to prepare
Step Four: Inhale to the count of four and imagine filling up a big balloon and feel the lower ribs expand as you count slowly to four. Breath in so much your fingers start to spread. As you exhale to the count of four imagine this balloon deflating as you expend all the air and squeezing every last drop as the naval draws towards the spine. Repeat for three breaths. Never underestimate the power of just three simple deep belly breaths! If you're looking for more, attend our Online Yoga for Anxiety Workshop for 80 minutes of bliss.
The Nose Knows
Did you know that your sense of smell because more acute in times of stress? We can actually use this to our advantage but using scents that have been studied to have a positive affect on our relaxation response in particular, lavender, lemon and peppermint are known for helping alleviate anxiety and tension 🍋
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life and can interrupt these anxious through patters and redirect them to focusing on things we do have. Studies have shown the practice of gratitude actually lead to healthier hearts. Consider keeping a gratitude journal and writing down 100 (YES, 100!) things you are grateful for. It might sound an unreachable number, but you'd be surprised just how many beautiful things, people and experiences in your life you have appreciation for.
Massage It Out
Always wondered why massages are so darn relaxing? Well, research shows following massage therapy that our cortisol (stress hormone) actually drops. Furthermore massaging out our tissues actually help relieve our Fascia (our bodies secondary sensory organ which is closely linked to our nervous system). So whether you book a massage, ask your partner for one reaaaaally nicely or treat yourself with some self myofascial release, there's many benefits behind a good old knead!
✌🏽 For more yoga and wellness follow Yogaventures on Instagram @yogaventures