Not sleeping well? Check! Work stressing you out? Check! Kids driving you crazy? Check. Traffic got you reeling? Check! Shall I keep going? I doubt there’s a need to do that as we all know how that story ends. Stress and anxiety have become the norm in our everyday lives and we’re not even going through something traumatic or anything; that is just the new pace of our everyday lives. Yes you have to prioritise self-care, but for now if you cannot spare 45 minutes for a much-needed massage or even spare 20 minutes to meditate, below are a few very easy tips you can incorporate throughout your day to bring instant calm.
1 || Alternate Nostril Breathing
I was first taught this by my yoga teacher and now I try to do it whenever I’m feeling anxious for no apparent reason. Using your right hand, place you index and middle fingers between your brows. Using your thumb, close your right nostril and slowly inhale though your left. Now using your ring finger close your left nostril and release the breath through the right nostril. Repeat up to six times.
2 || Raise Your Arms
The arm-raise is a very simple stretch that can greatly release your tension while improving your flexibility, and on a more spiritual level, it can open up your heart and mind. Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Raise your arms over your head with your palms up while you breathe through your nose. Let your palms meet, and then turn your palms to the front while trying to reach as high as you can, even if you have to stand on your toes. Hold for 10 seconds while breathing in and out. Release the stretch while keeping your palms facing up until you lower them. Repeat for three times at the least.
3 || Twist
Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your side. Bring your knee to your chest, using your opposite hand move your knee to the other side of your body. Make sure your shoulder blades stay pressed to the floor. You can take it further by turning your head to the opposite side. Hold for 30 seconds minimum and repeat for the other side.
4 || Apply Pressure To Your Temples
Applying pressure to your temples relaxes your forehead and stimulates the circulation to increase blood flow to the brain. This helps in reducing stress, building energy, and strengthening your focus. If you have access to essential oils use them. Best ones to use are peppermint and lemon to energise and lavender to calm you.
5 || Box Breathing
Any kind of breath work does wonders, and this method is the simplest to execute and it can be done anywhere. Inhale for the count of four, hold it in for four, exhale also on the count of four, and hold it in again for four. Ideally you should do this for up to ten minutes, otherwise do as much as you can. It reduces stress, promotes calm, and improves mood and focus.
6 || Cup Your Eyes
Simply closing your eyes for a few seconds promotes a sense of calm by blocking out any visual stimulation. IF you can up the ante a little, you can cup your eyes with the base of your palms for a quick dose of relaxation.
7 || Shake Shake
Animals relieve stress by shaking and we should copy their lead. Shake off the anxiety by doing a mindful shake for as long as you can.
8 || Journal It
Aim to pour it out on paper. You won’t believe it until you try it. Making journalling an integral part of your daily routine should lighten up your burden whether you feel it right away or not. Ideally you should aim to journal twice a day, but should the going gets stuff, just put pen to paper. Don’t think about what you’re going to write just write whatever comes to mind.