Simple Acts of Calm: Take Time Out to Relax Your Mind
Today's Simple Act of Calm is about invoking spells of relaxation as an antidote to mental stress and tension.
You've no doubt heard countless times about the negative effects of stress on your health and mental well-being. It also affects the choices you make about your lifestyle and diet and you may find yourself grabbing meals to go and collapsing in your bed exhausted, but with a racing mind, at the end of the day.
The relaxation response is the exact opposite of how you experience stress. It calms your breathing, settles your digestion, slows your heart rate and blood pressure and calms your nerves.
The relaxation response can happen naturally anytime you slow right down and take a break, but waiting for a holiday to come around does nothing for how you feel right now. To lower stress and bring it under your control you need to know the art of consciously entering into relaxation every day.
Invoking the Relaxation Response:
- Give yourself permission to take a five minute break without interruption
- Sit comfortably with your hands relaxed on your lap. Drop your shoulders and relax your jaw
- Place your feet side by side flat on the floor making sure that your knees and calf muscles feel soft and loose
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose
- Breathe out as fully as you can and count one in your mind
- Breathe in again, slowly and deeply
- And as you breath out count two
- Continue like this until you have completed seven relaxing breaths
Calm challenge: see how many of these simple acts of calm you can fit into your day. Could you fit one into your lunch break? Your bedtime routine? The more you practice the quicker you will drop tension and feel the effects of relaxation.
Practice note: if you are going to do this on meal breaks, do it before eating for the double benefit of enjoying your meal in a relaxed manner and allowing your digestive system to function without the hindrance of stress.
Photo by Vincepal
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