As a business coach, I work with stressed out people all time. But let’s be honest – all sorts of people are stressed out regardless of their profession.
Because stress is an inside game. It’s a reaction that we choose, not a product of our environment.
But stress is real and it has real consequences on the body – from strain on the heart, to less sleep, to restricted breathing, and poor digestion.
Plus when the body is stressed, it triggers the mind to have anxious thoughts to help rationalize the feeling. You get caught in an anxious cycle – the mind stresses the body; the body stresses the mind.
One of the daily antidotes you can use to ward off the damaging effects of stress is gratitude.
I particularly like to highlight feeling grateful on Fridays, so that you end the week aware of the gifts it brought, instead of racing towards the weekend.
But sometimes the gap between gratitude and how you’re feeling now is too big to cross without a stepping stone in between.
Here are three of my favorite practices to calm both the body and the mind – so that you can first reconnect with a deeper sense of contentment and then find gratitude from there.
Even if you’ve done one or all of the practices before, try them again today and gift yourself a bit of relaxation and calm.
Once you’re feeling good, bring to mind something or someone that fills you with love and hold that feeling for as long as possible.
After all, how you feel if your choice.
1. Follow the exhale
This meditation helps calm the nervous system. The best part is – you can practice it anywhere, anytime and no one has to know.
2. Straw Breathing
An incredibly simple and calming practice you can use with your kids too. By lengthening the exhale, you trick the body into breathing from the diaphragm, which ensures you get a full, complete breath.
That naturally calms the nervous system and helps you feel softer and more easeful. Plus if you hold your breath or breathe quickly – this practice will help.
3. Three-Part Breathing
The grand-daddy of breathing practices –> his practice trains your body to use the full capacity of the lungs, ensuring you get enough oxygen to stay calm and balanced.
Try one or more of these practices today or anytime you need to feel centered and calm.
Then once you feel softer, bring to mind a person, moment, or aspect of your life that you can be grateful for & allow the feeling of love and appreciation to fill your whole being.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!