Stress is not only an emotional “feeling” that we experience, but a physiological response to a threat. Your heart rate and breathing changes, muscles tighten and your body is flooded with hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
Stress been proven to contribute to or worsen many medical conditions, such as cardiac, gastrointestinal and mental health issues, as well as obesity, diabetes and addiction problems.
Rig Baby talks to Dr Nimarta Paul, registered Chiropractor and expert in holistic medicine, about managing stress and becoming a more peaceful you.
“We’re always going to have stress in our lives. What’s important is how we react to pressure and how we manage (and reduce) our negative emotions during the day. Making healthy choices can make a big difference in how you feel and in improving your overall health.”
Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Check in throughout the day to see how you are breathing.
Are you taking slow, deep breaths? Are you inhaling through the nose? This is a good opportunity to see if you are sitting or standing with a straight back and relaxed shoulders. Avoiding a slumped posture and shallow breathing can help keep your stress level down by increasing your energy level and oxygen flow your body needs.
- Begin nasal breathing using the diaphragmatic breath. I recommend practicing this while walking to master how it feels to breathe this deeply as your heart rate rises. Then, take it into your sport or fitness routine. Slow down to master breathing in this way.
- On breathing in, breathe deeply into your diaphragm, expanding the back of your ribcage.
- On the exhale, allow your diaphragm to contract
- Use a system of counting on your inhale and exhale. Inhale the breath for a count of four and exhale for six (either strides, pedals or seconds).
- Create another layer by inhaling for a count of three, holding the breath in for a count of three and exhaling the breath for a count of six.
“Taking a few moments to focus on your breath allows the emotional charge fuelling that fired-up reaction to fade, clearing your mind.
I recommend practicing each of these individually until you master them, trying the fourth and fifth bullets for five to ten minutes each. By the time you’ve got the fifth breathing pattern down you’ll have yourself a nicely sequenced warm-up.
Once you’re done with the three breaths, ask yourself, what is a more loving response? Take a moment to allow your inspiration to guide you.”
2. Peace begins with you
No matter how happy or serene we may be, there are always those friends, family members or co-workers who can get under
our skin. Rather than allow these people to shake up your world, it’s important to understand that they are your greatest assignments for spiritual growth. This technique offers you a fast, simple and effective solution for releasing anger. You can practise this meditation anytime and anywhere.
Gently press your thumb against your index finger, then your middle finger, then our ring finger, then your pinkie finger.
When you touch your index finger, say ‘I’. When you touch your middle finger, say ‘am’. When you touch your ring finger, say ‘Peace’. When you touch your pinkie finger, say ‘and Love’.
Variations on words “Peace begins with me” or “I am Compassionate Love”.
Breathe deeply as you say each word. Go as slow or as fast as you would like.
Use this technique in a queue at the bank, under the desk in a meeting, or in the middle of a argument with your lover, friend or co-worker.
3. The Power of developing an attitude of Infinite Love and Gratitude
In every moment is our attitude….
Infinite defines the essence of the universe…one song that has no beginning or ending. Faith acknowledges there must be more in life regardless of circumstances occurring in a particular moment.
- Love is the universal power that propels life, fuelling your will and enabling you to face and overcome challenges.
- Gratitude is saying “Thank You” empowers you to go through life without judgment, you see the value of any experience as an opportunity a gift in strange wrapping paper.
Keep a Journal – take time to write down those things for which you are grateful, and be detailed. For instance, a child might write “my dog” encourage to write “when my dog runs to greet me at the door”
Carry a Reminder – take a small stone or other meaningful object and carry it with you. When you reach into your pocket for change or your keys, touching it is a reminder to stop and think of something for which you’re grateful.
Watch What You Say – don’t focus on the negative; speaking disapprovingly of someone or something, or even self-depreciating talk, can thwart your efforts.
Daily Focus – each night, before retiring, take a moment to consider your day and try to find at least two or three specific things for which you’re grateful and focus on them.
Accountability Buddies – find a friend who wants to develop their attitude of gratitude and swap gratitude lists weekly, however, remember that acknowledging where the gratitude is due will keep it from sounding like.
After each list you for which you are grateful for say “Infinite Love and Gratitude” repeatedly, at least 3 times.
4. Make time to play.
Give yourself time to have fun and laugh. Creating a work/play balance is essential for maintaining emotional health, and reduces feelings of being overwhelmed, frustrated, or even resentful. Making playtime a priority will improve your focus, productivity and feelings of relaxation.
T – 01224 224774