Postdate: 03 April 2017
Your body and mind work together intensively so they regularly need to relax. A lack of relaxation is killing for your productivity, but also for your sleep. You can learn to relax by doing meditation and breathing exercises.
During the day, your breathing is unconsciously controlled by situations that occur, such as stressful moments. The body parts that retain the most stress are the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and facial muscles such as the jaw and eyebrows. A moment of meditation, seated or walking, of 5 to 10 minutes can work wonders to relax. Starting the meditation is often difficult as you are still tensed and restless. The mind is maximally triggered by distraction, and before you know it you get the feeling that you will never succeed or that it is not a good day for meditation. Meditation works just like sports: you have to do a 'warming-up' before it really works. To get into a meditative state quicker, you can do some stretching before you start, breathe through your abdomen, or do another breathing exercises such as the alternating nasal breathing. This last example is done by alternately breathing in and out through your left or right nostril.
When your breathing is shallow and rapid, it has an effect on your body. It means that your body remains in a continuous action mode. Subconsciously, the muscles remain tightened or your body posture slumps, which has all kinds of negative effects. Get rid of the tension in your body by massaging your muscles, rolling your shoulders, or by tightening and releasing your muscles consciously. This will improve the blood circulation. You can do this from your feet to your crown but also per muscle group, for example by focusing on the tension in your arms or shoulders. Even your wrists and fingers regularly have a lot to endure, so stretching them can also release some of the tension. Headaches are a well-known indication that it is time for anti-stress exercises. So try to take short 5-minute breaks on a regular basis.
The best thing is to keep the exercises simple and short. This way, you can do them practically anywhere, at home and at work. Direct your mind to a place where you would love to be, and you will notice that stress is being replaced by tranquillity and positivity.
‘It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos’