Stressed? Moody? Want to de-stress and be happy? You’re reading the right stuff dear creator!
This is a straightforward approach to de-stressing and getting happy. Really quick, easy ways to feel better. Enjoy!
1. 10 Yogic Breaths
Deep yogic breathing helps regulate the parasympathetic nervous system to help you feel more calm and in control. Oh, and it’s really easy to do, healthy, quick and you don’t look like an idiot doing it in public!
Breathe through your nose.
Make yourself comfortable with your back straight and upright. Close your eyes if you can or focus on just one spot (please don’t do this whilst driving!).
Breathe in to the count of four. Feel the air moving from your upper chest, down in to your ribcage and finally in to your belly.
Hold the breath for two counts.
Breathe out for four counts. Feel the air being expelled from the belly, all the way up through the ribcage.
Do not force the breath. If the counts are too long reduce to 2-1-2.
Focus only on the breath during this time.
Repeat for ten breaths.
Enjoy this feeling of calm and an awareness of your body.
2. Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
This is a yoga pose designed to increase blood flow to the brain and release tension in the shoulders and back, particularly the lower back. It also stretches the backs of the legs and is great for rejuvenating the body and mind and give you a different perspective on things.
WARNING: Please check with your doctor if you have blood pressure issues before doing this pose.To do the pose, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes spread, tail bone tucked under (tummy in), shoulders away from the ears, back and relaxed and the head in a comfortable, straight position.
On your next inhale, raise the arms up above the head, being aware of keeping your shoulders down so they don’t hunch around your ears.
On your next exhale, slowly start to bend the body from the waist, being careful to keep the back straight (it’s a common mistake to just bend forwards which doe
When you’re ready, extend the arms so your elbows are by your ears and, on the next inhale, slowly curl the spine back up to standing, vertebrae by vertebrae, finishing with the head.sn’t have the same effect but makes it easier to touch your toes – not the point!)
When you are as far as is comfortable, rest your hands on the floor or, if they don’t reach, hold alternate elbows as if crossing your arms and let the body relax in this position.
With every inhale, reach the body forward, with every exhale releasing the hands/head further towards the floor.
Stay like this for at least five breaths.
Notice how your body feels, without judgement. Bring your awareness to the different sensations in your body, allowing the blood to flow to your head and rejuvenate the mind.
Take a few moments to centre yourself and scan the body for any residual feelings of tension. Sit if you feel light-headed.
3. Put it in to perspective
Sometimes, when things all come at once, it’s easy to generalise outwards and presume EVERYTHING is awful and horrible and crappy and rubbish etc etc. When this happens, get out some teeny, tiny baby violins and play them for yourself. I mean it – actually pretend to play them.
Now look at your life with a bit more perspective. Sure, you may have some really crappy things going on, but there’s got to be at least one thing you can find comfort in, even if it’s only knowing that you’re not dead so there’s still a life in you worth living (morbid much!?). Once you’ve realised there’s one thing that’s not all bad, you have to also then accept that not everything is bad. Take a deep breath, do another one of these exercises, read your favourite book or have a dance around your room to your favourite song and be grateful for what you do have.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is incredibly similar to Yoga Nidra, which I hark on about all over the place. It’s used in hypnotherapy quite a bit but it basically asks you to get comfy and focus on each of your body parts in turn, allowing them to relax (even the ones we normally don’t even realising we’re tensing – like those shoulders around your ears!).
It also allows you to still the mind as you’re asked to focus rather than aimlessly ‘relax’ so as your mind quiets, your body quiets and visa versa. Before you know it you’ll have had a few minutes of chill out…
Oh – I’ve made an audio for you hear – you can download it for free (scroll to the bottom of the post) – ‘cos I’m nice like that!
5. Laughing out loud
This is so simple but is scientifically proven to work! When I was little I actually had a laughing bag – it was a little red sack with a smiley face on it and when you squeezed it, it laughed. Sounds simple but it did actually make me laugh…maybe I’m a bit simple…meh! Anyway, watch you’re favourite TV show, spend time with the class clown, fake it, hell I don’t care but make yourself laugh. It realises happy hormones which will work to reduce stress and make you feel genuinely happy again, even if you were faking before!
6. Fresh air and nature
It might just be me, but I always find comfort in nature. I always de-stress when I take the time to be in nature and make myself feel small in comparison to it’s magnitude. I suppose this links in to putting your problems in to perspective, but if you imagine the universe being around for billions of years, a star’s light taking millions of years to reach earth so we can see it and the huge mountain ranges we have on earth, our few years here seem like the flick of an eye. In that light, enjoying every second for all that it is becomes so much more important than stress at work or home.
Find somewhere you can sit in nature. I grew up in North Wales in a very rural and beautiful setting but now live in London, however, even now I can find a tree to sit under and even found the most beautiful Japanese Contemplation Garden in Holland Park at the weekend – check it out if you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit….
Anyway (getting distracted)…you can find some beauty in nature anywhere, you just have to be mindful to look.
Which takes me to my final point on this topic of ways to de-stress – be mindful of your body, how it feels and what’s around you. Focus only on this moment and it’s hard to be stressed, simply because stress is a result of worrying about something that’s happened or something that might happen. Enjoy now rather than worrying about the past or the future.