Three Easy Ways to De Stress Right Now
Three Easy Ways to De-Stress Right Now
As we are all busy these days it seems that some of us want to stay in busybody mode! This is a constant state of stress. It will catch up to us in one way or another, usually with ill-effects to the body. Our stress makes that cortisol rear its ugly head and flood our systems giving us the fight or flight response. Many of us live in that state of high blood pressure, hard breathing and constricted muscles. Although the world seems a dangerous place with wild traffic and sitting in cubicle cages all day…the fight or flight response happens too often and in folks who don’t need it…this response cannot discern the argument with your boss or an angry poisonous reptile. While they may seem similar in nature (yes the boss and the reptile) the fight or flight response is not needed and there is no immediate threat. This response is responsible for things like headaches and anxiety along with other conditions like insomnia and bowel issues. So many of us have learned to live in the stress response state but have not learned the tools to de-stress and be calm.
Here are 3 ways the Yama Yoga Store can suggest for you to De-Stress
Deep Breathing Exercises.
Medical researchers and Yogis alike know the benefits of deep breathing and the nourishment it can bring to the mind, body, and soul. Good breathing exercises give us a dose of oxygen which relaxes our parasympathetic nervous system. There are many apps out there for Pranayama (our life force breath) training. I like Prana Breath: Calm and Meditate by Oleksandr Albul. The RAMA Foundation has this great video with Guru Jagat (I love her) on Deep Breathing. Four minutes to calm with her Deep Breathing Initiative (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsQQggtdMSI) Any way you slice it learning to breathe is the way to master your world and de-stress.
Two Minute Meditation.
Form a habit of doing meditation. If you want to de-stress right now you can certainly start by doing a two minute guided meditation. You can find many of these on the web or through a good app. If you want to make a habit of it and grow your practice the two-minute meditation start is ideal. Two minutes will not stress you out even more and you can then progress into longer meditation times gradually. What you need for meditation is really nothing but you! Set a timer for two minutes. Bring a carry along meditation pillow or keep a blanket handy to roll up and sit on. You can also sit in a chair with your back straight in a position that is comfortable enough for your two-minute micro-meditation! Close your eyes and breathe. Try to observe your natural breath for a full two minutes. Some people find this difficult at first and if so change your strategy to a more simple meditation that incorporates counting with the breath. A common strategy to use when doing this meditation is; Breath in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds. Repeat this approximately eight times to reach the full two minutes.
I personally engage in mini focused meditations. This type of mediation strategy seems so natural and fairly easy to do for two minutes. If you have ever watched someone who gets "lost" while drawing or doing artwork... where the focus is so great the person seems to be in a trance and then wake up after an hour and not know where they have been…that is focused meditation. No thoughts penetrate this focus. Set a timer for two minutes and find a comfortable seated position, breathe naturally while holding your focus on an object (like a candle flame). Observe the flame without thought or judgment. If those pesky thoughts do creep in, let them, and then let them go out like clouds drifting across the sky. Your two minutes will quickly advance with this method. I also enjoy meditating on the horizon at the shore…or even gazing at boats in the distance. I know people who watch the traffic go by. Keep in mind, two minutes is all it takes to calm your system…21 days is all it takes to change your stress response! This is a no brainer strategy for better health overall.
Yes, walking is actually a form of meditation! I will mention that it is best to find a trail or to walk in nature because you do not want to exacerbate any anxieties by walking near traffic. Pay close attention to each step and notice your body, any sensations that arise and focus on your natural breathing patterns. You will find that the stress simply dissolves. Observe nature and listen to its sounds for this nature walk! Walking in this mindful way is actually hypnotic and can put you directly in the Alpha or Theta state. If you are really in a state of panic and find it hard to be mindful during your walk you could repeat a mantra or listen to good calming music. Jim Rajan’s music is a healthy script to diminish stress anytime but while walking seems uplifting and empowering. OM is the easiest Mantra to remember and repeating this beautiful sound with the breath and steps can make a world of difference in your stress response.
I hope you will find these three proven ways of calming and de-stressing helpful and perhaps a good beginning to your meditation practice.
We would love to hear from you... let us know your experiences with this in the comments section of this blog.
To your health!
Soorya Kirti Kaur @ The Yama Yoga Store
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