Photo by Bob Winfree, National Park Service. Usa
You may not be able to control your freedom of movement right now in this pandemic, but there is something you can control and that is your stress level.
Since stress can be acute right now in many of us, I will start by sharing some techniques that can help you release the tension in your body quickly and therefore your mind. I am repeating some techniques that I added to a previous blog because they work for both stress and fear.
1. Deep breathing: It is simple but it works. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Take some long deep breaths in and out. Do it as long as you need to. Notice how your body responds to your breathing.
2. The Wayne Cook Posture: This simple act of sitting and crossing your legs while breathing calms your nervous system down. Here is a video on how to do it.
3. Exercising: Exercising releases pent up stress in our body. Jog on the spot for five minutes or do some jumping jacks. It doesn't have to be a complete exercise routine, but some body movement that gets your heart rate up will end up slowing your heart rate down!
4. Watching Comedy: Like exercising, laughing releases endorphins that make you feel good. If you are laughing, your entire body and mind is relaxed too.
And now my favorite work - long term tips on empowering yourself on a daily basis!
Releasing Stress by Thought Awareness
A THOUGHT creates an EMOTION which in turn AFFECT our mood, our mind, our body and our stress levels. So the key here is to turn it around and CHOOSE the thoughts that will create a more peaceful mind and reduce our stress levels.
An Exercise to Become Aware of Your Thoughts:
Becoming the observer of your thoughts takes just two minutes. Keep your attention on your thoughts and wait for your next thought to arrive in your awareness. Voila! You have now become of two minds: the observer and the mindless monkey-mind. I first learned this in 2007 when I read Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. It was an empowering epiphany!
Take some time and practice this. This will go a long way in helping you to choose the thoughts you wish to focus on and therefore, how your body feels in response to those thoughts. When you can tune in and catch the monkey-mind in action, you can observe how you are feeling as a result of your thoughts and make a different choice.
I hope these tips will help you in these turbulent times. When you are feeling acute stress, turn to the activities I listed at the top to calm your body and mind down fast. They have worked for me and that is why I wanted to share them with you.