Melt Away Work Stress in 5min
In 2015, 30-40% of workers in the U.S. considered their jobs to be extremely stressful, according to a statistic from CBS news. One can only imagine how that percentage has climbed over the past two years as we continue to progress as an overstimulated population & nation. I happen to fall into that 30-40% and through time, I have found a few simple yogic techniques to help take the edge off of a stressful day. I hope you too, find them to be supportive to your everyday life.
Take an "Adult Time-Out":
Set a reoccurring calendar appointment on your computer or phone as a beneficial reminder to pause & breath. (Are you guilty of forgetting to eat lunch- this tip is most important for you!)
Place Lavender or Ylang Ylang essential oil (based on personal scent preference) on temples or wrists if you do not have an oil diffuser. Breathing in essential oils help to stimulate parts of the brain that influence your physical, mental and emotional health. These particular oils have long been praised for their anti-anxiety, mood-boosting, stress relieving effects. You can find affordable diffusers on amazon for less than $20. My favorite brands of essential oils are Dottera, Eden's Garden and NOW.
Don't Hold Your Breath!:
One of the first physical symptoms that occur when we fall under stress is shallow breathing. Shallow breathing can lead to muscle tension, light headedness and increased anxiety. Pausing to take 5-10 deep, conscience rounds of belly breaths may be your most effective antidote. Below is a simple Pranayama or Yogic breathing technique. Find a comfortable seat, sit up straight & close your eyes or soften your gaze (away from your computer screen)...
Dirgha, "Three Part Breath"
The “three parts” are the abdomen, diaphragm, and chest. This breath is done by breathing only through the nose; eyes can be open or closed (if eyes are open, soften your gaze). Begin by taking a slow, deep breath in, envisioning the air filling your low belly (belly puffs out like Buddha's belly); then air fills the middle torso/center of the chest; then lastly the air fills to the top part of the lungs up by the collar bones. Keep the shoulders relaxed. On the exhale, slowing release the breath as chest, middle of chest then low belly decompresses back down. If it helps, you may slowly count to eight on the inhale and then slowly count to eight on the exhale in order to slow down the pace of your breath. Dirgha helps to combat shallow breathing and helps signal your parasympathetic nervous system to induce a feeling of "rest & digest" in the body and mind.
3 Simple Yoga Poses:
-Neck Rolls: Take 30 seconds to roll your head gently clockwise and counter clockwise. Pausing to hold the stretch at any point that feels best.
-Seated Spinal Twist: Sit up tall in your desk chair, both feet firmly planed on the earth. Turn and twist to your right, place left hand on right chair arm or right knee. Hold for three breaths, gazing over right shoulder. Return back to center, then turn to your left and place right hand on left chair arm or left knee. Hold for three breaths, gazing over left shoulder.
-Wrist Circles: Clasp hands together, palms touching and circle wrists. Extend arm out straight like "Stop in the name of love!" and gently pull fingers back to stretch writs, do both sides.
Drishti or Gaze:
-Take a moment to rest your eyes on nature. Whether you have a beautiful plant at your desk or are able to gaze out the window; Connecting with nature is proven to be nourishing to the body, mind & spirit.
In the light,