2 SIMPLE WAYS TO BANISH STRESS
Article by Lyn Delmastro
Do you ever feel like you have 10 hours worth of work to do in 8 hours? Or maybe you get home at the end of the day and have so many things you need to do to take care of the house and your family that you wonder if you will get to bed before 1AM?
Just reading this and thinking about it might make your blood pressure rise, your head ache, your stomach do flips, or your muscles grip with tension.
The good news is that there ARE ways to simply manage your stress so that you can get all your responsibilities done and still have the time, energy, and interest to do the things you enjoy as well. Today I’d like to share two of my favorites with you!
1| Learn how to breathe slowly and deeply.
Your breath is one of your most powerful tools and resources and it requires no special equipment. When you breathe more slowly and deeply into your belly, with consistent practice you can begin to slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
To begin working with your breath, simply count how many counts it takes you to inhale and how many to exhale. Then try to slow it down by 1-2 counts. Progressively work your way to slower and slower pace, ideally seeing if you can get to around a 5 second inhale and a 5 second exhale.
Work gradually towards this if you are used to breathing very rapidly as trying to slow down too quickly can actually make your more anxious and strain your nervous system.
2| Learn to practice mindfulness.
To start to work with mindfulness on your own, begin by just noticing your thoughts. If you notice that you continually repeat thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” first just observe that tendency. After you notice it, perhaps become curious about why you are critical of yourself or work with repeating a mantra like “I am perfect just the way I am” to replace the thought.
You can also work with mindfulness by observing the sensations you feel in your body. Do you feel tightness in your chest? A heaviness in the pit of your stomach? Simply observe the sensations and then become curious about what they are trying to tell you. The body communicates to us in sensation as often as we notice the sensation and become curious about its meaning, it can release.
So there are 2 of my favorite ways to start to release stress. I hope you will give them a try and see what you experience!