1. Breathing. The more stressed you are, the more your body contracts. Instinctually, your breathing becomes shallow. You practically stop breathing. With less oxygen making it to your brilliant brain cells, stress rises. Fortunately, the fix is simple. Bring your conscious attention to your breathing. Inhale with deep diaphragmatic breaths. Make your belly rise and fall with each breath. Try this…right now!
Take a deep breath in and H–O–L–D for a count of 1, 2, 3, 4 and exhale. Ahhhhhhh! As you exhale, drop your shoulders. Repeat 3-4 times, until you’re breathing easily.
Ever wonder why smokers feel better after a cigarette? While they are out puffing, they are also taking deep diaphragmatic breaths, which relax the body. However, you can get the same benefits without jeopardizing your health. And, deep breathing is free.
Start paying attention to your breathing. When you notice stress, just inhale deeply a few times as described above. You’ll notice you can melt away stress and restore balance in seconds.
Take 5 Minutes each day for the next week, and simply do “nothing.” Yes, you heard me right. Nothing. Just spend time “being.” That means you need to clear away the thoughts, stop “doing” and just be. It’s only for 5 minutes. No laptop. No iPhone. No reading. No thinking. Nothing. Just BE.
No matter how busy you are, finding 5 minutes out of 24 hours a day for “nothing time” is doable. Are you mentally arguing with me? Maybe it’s 5 minutes before an appointment. Five minutes at the airport. Five minutes at the park before driving home to your family. The real question is will you actually claim 5 minutes for yourself – each day – for a whole week?
This seemingly innocent task provides an array of benefits, including a greater sense of peace and an expanded sense of time and balance. Claiming these 5 minutes is the first step in taking control of your life.
3. Get Physical. Just 12 minutes of cardio a day (done consistently) is enough to radically decrease stress and increase sanity. Studies reveal exercise stimulates the brain, reducing anxiety levels and increasing your happiness quotient. Exercise also boosts your energy, promotes better sleep, can improve your sex life (yep!), helps you manage your weight, and combats chronic disease.
This is the only tip today that’s going to require you to schedule it into your week. The dividends it pays in sanity, balance and inner peace are well worth the “12 minute” investment. If you’re already in the routine, congratulations! If not, it’s time to make this a priority – starting now.
4. Boundaries. One simple word restores balance and sanity more quickly than any word in the dictionary. It has two letters. It’s >>> “No.” You’re probably not using this word enough. Most people who are stressed have weak or no boundaries. A life coach can help you identify and implement the perfect boundaries for you.
Where can you start in the meantime? Stop answering your phone during meals or after hours. Carve out a day or week each month to not have appointments. Don’t take personal calls during your workday. Don’t check email on weekends. Claim 60 seconds to breathe, take your 5 minutes of “doing nothing,” and hold workout time as sacred. Look for opportunities to tighten your boundaries. You’ll notice an immediate positive impact on your sanity and balance.
5. Gratitude. Appreciation is a free, fast, and effective way to transform stress and restore balance instantaneously. Write down 25 things you appreciate in your life right now. You can start with the basics — your eyes, ears, health, a house to live in, family, your lucrative industry, and being alive.
Allow your feelings of appreciation to expand and deepen.
It sounds so simple, yet taking a few minutes to consciously connect with the abundance in your life radically impacts your well-being. If you’re married, tell your partner 5 things you appreciate about them. Then switch roles. Commit to daily gratitude and you’ll notice more to appreciate each day…no matter how busy you are.
How will up the ante on your self-care this week