Believe it or not, starting your day off feeling relaxed, makes it more difficult for responsibilities or unforeseen events to cause you to stress! Doing a yoga session, followed by a brief meditation in the morning will help you decrease anxiety, lower current stress, and reduce the amount of stress you feel during the day. Yoga’s slow movements and positions enable you to stretch out your muscles which helps ease tension and stress in your body that may still be around from the previous day. Meditation concentrates on “mindfulness.” Breathing throughout meditation helps you focus more; this is because mindfulness is about being in the present moment and thinking of nothing else. This allows an individual to focus on themselves, and the silence and peace, letting go of problems and stresses that may have been consuming your thoughts and mind otherwise.
Even though the feeling of extreme pressure may pass, often a time it will still manifest in your body. By practicing yoga and meditative breathing, you will help yourself release the tension and tightness from your neck, back, and shoulders. Try to be conscious of using deep breathing during the day. Small stresses can add up, but you can eliminate them through breathing. For example, have you ever noticed yourself sighing at certain points of the day? This is your body involuntarily trying to de-stress. Sighing is a type of a deep breath that technically gives you more oxygen to your heart, lungs, and brain. This activates the body’s relaxation response which will reduce any anxiety or stress you’re experiencing. Not to say that you should deliberately sigh when you are stressed, but it is just an instance of a natural body destressing mechanism.
Even if you are unable to begin your day with a 30-minute yoga or meditation session, do not let this be an excuse for not taking some personal time to release tension, anxiety, and stress! Try doing a relaxation session after work, to end your day and unwind. This will help your mind and body go to bed in a more peaceful state and even potentially help you sleep better, and still decrease the chances of waking up feeling overwhelmed by stress the following day.
Below are a few easy yoga positions and exercises that ANYONE can do, whether you are a beginner or seasoned yogi!
- Downward Facing Dog
- High Lunge
- Forward Bend