Is your life fast and furious? Use these de-stress techniques while you're zipping about on your commute, school run, etc. They'll allow you to retain a feeling of peace and calm, even when when multiple daily influences try to upset your internal equilibrium.
Regularly practising relaxation bolsters our ability to cope with stress. Having the tools to reach a calm oasis in a busy day - even if it is only for a minute or two at a time - cuts down anxiety. Managing the art of properly relaxing actually makes you more productive: if you’re not tense your mental processes are more efficient. Relaxation is simple but also enormously difficult, because it requires encouraging your mind to slow down. Brains like complicated things to think about, and they too get used to cramming too much in.
Everything in life is affected by how you feel and let’s face it, modern life is not about contentment! Through advertising and the media we’re shown how to improve, to achieve, do this, go here, buy that and it will make us more successful - better - more attractive even - or happier. But none of it does. Even our own expectations of 'how life is meant to be' can put a dent in the most peaceful of minds.
When you are stressed, your body gets used to it. It’s possible to be permanently over-stressed without the brain even noticing your body is suffering. When the body is ready for action; not the sudden ‘fight or flight’ response but the slow burn of never properly relaxing, other systems slow down or stop working. Digestive and reproductive systems go on ‘hold’ for as long as the state lasts, which could be years. Take a look at the range of indigestion medicines in the supermarket next time and you’ll see the scale of the problem.
Use these instant de-stress methods to keep your body relaxed and your brain sharp, even at the busiest times of your day:
5 Really Effective Ways to De-Stress on the Go
1. Limit phone use
Mute your phone and put it face down, away or out of reach as often as you can. Tough, right? There is a whole beautiful world away from that little screen. The foveal vision used to look at a mobile phone is known to cause stress and anxiety (1). Engaging with reality, people watching, or simply taking 5 minutes without that constant input of information, is a de-stressor in itself. And, I know from my years doing Kinesiology, that it is impossible to test people if their mobile phone is within reach - the electrical charge in a phone really does screw up the body's biofield (2). Your body's electro-magnetic field does actually exist, it isn't weird 'new age' rubbish.
An extra tip is to give your body a stress break and never keep your phone next to your bed at night, or in a pocket during the day. Why? I'll give you a fr'instance: what do all of your nerves use to send impulses? Electricity. Electrical impulses make your heart beat and your brain work. They're made to work perfectly without extra electrical stimulus that's generated by mobile phones.
2. De-stress on the go by breathing
Take a deep breath and let it go. Take another, then another - slow and even. Count the breaths up to 10. Shallow breathing happens when we're busy or stressed, and taking a break for even 5 long, deep breaths calms the mind. The great thing about breathing breaks is you can do them anywhere.
3. Walk calmer
Do you often feel that you're on a relentless treadmill that gets faster all the time, but that it's never quick enough? Walk calmer and it will de-stress you on the go without you even needing to think about it. Wherever you walk, even just round the house: halve your speed and lengthen your stride. Although the same distance is covered in the time, it's a calmer way to get from A to B. You'll find find that your breathing will naturally equalise with your stride length. The rhythm of a long stride coupled with a longer, deeper breath leads to clearer thinking.
4. Tension check
Be aware of your body, don’t ‘live in your head’. It’s easier to feel where your tension is if you’re in touch with the physical you. Work your way up your body: think ‘toes’, ‘calves’, ‘knees’ etc. when sitting or standing. Be conscious of all the little bits of your body (even if they are tight with tension) that go to make the wonderful unique you. Your body really is a miracle. Use this relaxing neck and shoulder massage for an extra de-stress once a week.
5. Little colour relaxation
This is a great relaxation technique that you can do in 5 or 15 minutes:
The brain processes colours in the same sequence as the colour spectrum. By visualising each of the colours in the spectrum in turn, this exercise relaxes the mind. Imagine each of the colours as brightly as you can:
Imagine taking the first step up on a staircase. The colour of this bottom step is red; imagine the step lit up with red until you can see the red vividly.
Step up onto step two, which is orange - think of a big basket of ripe oranges, or a deep orange sunset.
The third step up is yellow, like a bright mid-summer sun or a field of ripe wheat.
The fourth step is green like fresh grass, or bright green new leaves in Spring. Imagine touching them.
The fifth step is a light, clear blue like the sky on a clear day - breathe in the fresh air.
The sixth step is indigo blue, like a blue sapphire or a dark blue ocean.
The seventh step colour is purple, like the purplest velvet coat you've ever seen.
The final step is white, think of the purest white snow or crisp white cotton sheets. See the white lighting up your whole body before letting the image fade away.
Some colours might be harder than others to visualise, but stay on the step until you can imagine the most vivid shade, then step up to the next colour.
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1. Relationship between the manner of mobile phone use and Depression, Anxiety and Stress in University Students: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5923739/
2. Biofield Science: Current Physics https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4654779/