The constant pace and demands of life take their toll on us all. We spend our days endlessly on our butts, hunched over a computer and accumulating layers and layers of stress, without ever peeling it off.
The way we hold and carry ourselves can have a dramatic impact on our stress levels. If you’re anything like me, you walk around like a tight ball, scrunched up with stress and angst and with a constant chattering in your mind. Relieving ourselves of this can be simple and quick. Try these easy techniques for instant relaxation:
Do not ever underestimate the power of deep breathing. You don’t have to try to imitate a yogi, or look like a weirdo, to achieve the same results. In fact, this technique is so discreet that no one will even know you are doing it.
Stop what you’re doing and take 5 to 10 really deep, slow breaths, in and out. If you like, close your eyes while you are doing this and focus solely on your breath. Listen to it, going in and out of your nose (don’t breathe through your mouth). Do this until your heart rate slows, and you feel more rested.
Drop your shoulders
Hitched shoulders is very common office behaviour, especially if your desk is not properly and ergonomically set up. If you are holding your shoulders somewhere up around your chin – drop them now! You will be surprised how much better you feel straight away. Pay attention also to your posture. If you are hunched over, your body is turned inward, creating more tension in your back. Pull your shoulders back and lift your chin for an instant energy boost.
Release the tension in your jaw
We carry so much stress in our face. Holding the jaw tightly is something many of us do, and often we don’t even realise it. Pay attention to how you are holding your mouth – relax it entirely, even let it hang open for a bit, then massage the top part of your jaw, where on your face your jaw meets your cheek bones. You may find that this area is painful to touch to begin with, but gently use your fingers to push the area and release some of that pent up pain.
Key to this also is to make sure you are not clenching or grinding your teeth. This adds extreme tension to your face, and this can travel up your head and cause headaches. Check in with yourself on this one regularly, and whenever you find yourself clenching your jaw, relax it ASAP.
Engage in these simple and effective techniques as many times as you need. They are free, quick, can be done anywhere and provide instant comfort, preparing you to soldier on with your day.