Stating the obvious too much to say there's an extra layer (or 10) of stress throughout the country this year??
There are many ways to help combat stress. Let's talk about one of them here:
Sit tall. Place your hands around the base of your ribs. Exhale all the air you can. As you slowly count to 8, inhale, feeling your hands being pushed outward by your rib cage as you do so. You sit taller still. Then just as slowly, exhale the air back out.
Do it again.
Do it one more time.
How do you feel? If you say even 2% better than you did one minute ago, I'll be happy!
I am fascinated by what breathing can do to calm us and energize us. (Not the energy that comes from a 'fight or flight' feeling, but the healthy energy of being ready to seize the day!)
Many experts have variations on breathing patterns to put into practice to calm the body (specifically, calm the parasympathetic nervous system), and it comes down to not the exact number of counts you inhale or exhale, but that you are mindfully slowing and controlling your breath.
For example, the above exercise in breathing. Maybe 8 counts felt too much for now? Start with counting to 4 slowly. Want to add another layer? Hold your breath after the inhale for 4-8 counts.
Today I took a gyrokinesis class for the first time. Talk about getting the body's natural energy stores going through breath. That is the basis of this technique.
Granted, any movement of the body helps to get the blood flowing, sending oxygen, increasing endorphins...but what I find neat about gyrokinesis is, well let's just give you the definition right from the source: "is a movement method that addresses the entire body, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion, and creating functional strength through rhythmic, flowing movement sequences."
Sleep: Oh sleep. Stress goes up, sleep seems to goes down. Try the aforementioned breathing exercises as you are lying down in bed to help calm the body and mind. Google can give you a plethora of versions.
Again, it comes back to slow and controlled breathing.
One last thing--
This was too timely not to share.
A friend through the entertainment industry has created a podcast called The Luxury of Self-Care. In a recent post, she wrote the following:
(n) A state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquility.
Doesn't that just have the most delightful ring to it? Let us all keep taking steps in the direction of ataraxia. Today, that's to slow down our breathing and calm the body.
Let me know how it goes for you :)
P.S. If you like the sound of The Luxury of Self-Care, you may enjoy this episode where host Ahnastasia interviews yours truly about one of my favorite topics: every bit counts.