When people think of stress, they often go straight to trying to cut down on the amount of things they are doing. It’s not necessarily that you have to stop working as much as you do. Some people thrive on having lots to do and would be stressed if they had to do nothing. It’s about being aware of what works for you. And, if you are a person who enjoys having lots on, it’s about also being mindful to still take care of your body; because it’s so easy to become unconscious and ignore it unintentionally when you are so focused so intently on work or whatever it is that you are doing. That’s when your ‘go to’ techniques become essential, because when you are under the pump to get things done, you often don’t have the time to do stress reducing things that are more time consuming like exercise or holidays. In these times, it is even more essential to look after yourself throughout the day.
The following breathing exercises are quick and easy ‘go to’ relaxation techniques that I find really useful to calm and center you whenever needed; not just in these busy times, but every day for ongoing health and wellness. They can even be done in front of others without anyone else realizing what you are doing. Play with them and choose whichever ones work for you.
The 3 Breath Technique
Take three deep breaths and with the first, calm your body, with the second, calm your mind, and with the third, wish someone well; just mentally state each to yourself.
The Energy Flow Technique
As you breathe, imagine energy coming from the ground into your feet, up your legs all the way to the top of your head and out into the universe. Now imagine it coming from the universe into the top of your head, all the way down to your feet and out, deep into the ground.
Square Breathing Technique
Breath in for the count of 4. Hold for the count of 4. Breathe out for the count of 4. Hold for the count of 4.
There are many ways to take time to relax and nurture you and your body. Ask your body, ‘Body, what would be fun and nurturing?’ Some sample ones are a meditation walk, reading a book, calling a friend, petting an animal, having a massage or a facial, doing some yoga, having your Bars run, having a body process done, the options are infinite. The key is to keep asking questions and find what you and your body enjoy.