Meditation is great. There is no shortage of research, articles and apps that sing the praises of meditating, and practicing mindfulness! And one of the main benefits is that it’s great at reducing stress.
But what if you just wanted to relax and unwind? Maybe you just want to learn how to de-stress quickly, but feel like the internet has a whole lot of mumbo jumbo to wade through when it comes to practical ways to relax?
Well… let’s see if we can help you!
Why Would I Care About De-stressing?
Chronic stress is huge in Western populations. With the increase in social media use, meaning we are never content with our lives compared to the feeds of “friends”, to poor diets that consist of highly processed foods.
So why Would I Care About De-stressing? Well…
- Puts your body in a restorative state – by activating parasympathetic nervous system pathways (What the waaa?!). That’s just a fancy way of saying your body is in a constant state of emergency when stressed, and this is not good as you always feel a little bit on edge. De-stressing would allow your body a little time to recuperate.
- When your body is in “fight of flight”, your mind in focused on surviving, making mindfulness impossible while being stressed. If you’re trying to be more mindful, de-stressing allows you to a take in more of your surroundings and be more aware, and make better decisions.
My Favourite Technique. – ???? + ????
I’ve found to simplify de-stressing, it’s best to focus on breathing. It’s one way to control a whole lot of body systems. For example, breathing slowly slows down your heart rate as well. And I have a specific technique for you that simple, but is more powerful than simply breathing slowly. Breathing in general is great, but you can be this technique will make you more purposeful about it.
Box breathing –
It’s method used by athletes, to help get rid of negative talk, a bad miss or simply to focus.
Called box breathing, the technique is simple: you inhale for 3s, hold for 3 seconds, 3s for exhale, and hold for 3s exhale. (For the visual learners, there is a rather good looking diagram below.)
When to Use the Technique?
I use this a lot when dealing with my children. Like when my (then) two-year old screams about not wanting to wear pyjamas. Having started work that day at 7am, I was not feeling my usual patient self (not being around kids makes you believe you’re patient!). But the breathing helped. It’s not a superpower, but allows you to approach a situation with clarity, and like the adult you wish you were!
- When stressed – obviously!!
- Mindful eating – simply slowing down and eating mindfully has been shown to help to manage weight. Taking a few breaths before eating helps to you enjoy your food more, eat only the food you need, and digest the food properly!
- When you feel overwhelmed – and need to make a decision, a moment of clarity can be of help. Like when you just started new health habits, and the dairy milk dipped in peanut butter was not part of the plan!
- Head is feeling cloudy – having spent the morning at a desk, taking a walk and focusing on your breathing can help you re-energise.
Hope that post was helpful. I’ve had clients who simply needed a stress release, and I was able to help them.
To read more check out this article I done wrote!
(6 Helpful Reasons to Get a Personal Trainer You Hadn’t Considered!)