It really doesn’t take long to shift your energy and calm your nervous system and access a sense of relaxation and peacefulness. Here are a few of my favorite, very quick stress releasing tricks.
#1 – BREATHE… A few focused, deep breaths can shift your mood in a moment. Exhaling slowly stimulates the Parasympathetic part of the nervous system, the part that calms and nourishes our system. Inhaling stimulates the Sympathetic part, the part that controls the Fight or Flight response. Think about the difference between a quick gasp and adrenalin surge when you are startled, vs. the relief of a long, slow sigh.
Try taking a few long slow breaths, concentrating on exhaling for longer than you inhale. Feel your system slowing down and relaxing…While you are doing this smile! and think about something happy. Works a treat!
#2 – GUIDED IMAGERY (30 second holiday) – here’s my favorite really quick guided imagery technique for releasing stress.
Close your eyes, and imagine a mountain, any mountain. It could be somewhere you’ve been or something you’ve seen a picture of. Now take a deep breath and imagine that you are drawing that breath from the top of the mountain, inhaling that cool clear mountain air… Exhale, and imagine that you are sending your breath back to the top of the mountain… Repeat 3 times. You will find that your energy, your mood, (and your brain wave frequency!) has shifted.
#3 – MEDITATE… Meditation has long been known to not only help release stress, but also to make you more resilient to stress, less rattled by it and quicker to come back into balance