We know this to be true. Stress is so prevalent in our society that many of us have just come to live with it daily. It creeps into our lives, manifests physical and psychological symptoms— yet we just keep going without addressing it.
In 2016, join me in making a resolution to combat that stress. You owe it to yourself to recognize stressful areas in your life and take simple steps to free yourself from it. Below are a few 5-minute exercises you can begin using today to create more ease and calm in your life.
Visualization – Our minds possess great power. If your current situation has you down or twisted into knots, picture a more serene setting. Close your eyes and imagine the calmest, most soothing place you can. Hear the sounds, smell the smells and see the sights in bright, vibrant colors. These mini escapes can lower blood pressure and ease anxiety.
Yoga – We hear about yoga all the time now, and there’s good reason for that. Yoga strengthens the body and soothes the soul. For a quick, soothing, yet energizing routine, try sun salutations. Or choose a few of your favorite poses to practice.
Outdoor stroll – Take a five-minute walk outdoors. While you walk, feel the warmth of the sun or the cool air on your skin. Sunshine alone can be soothing and refreshing. As you continue to stroll, really tune in to nature. Take time to identify each sound around you. Take note of the scents and the colors. This moving mindfulness and conscious presence can do wonders to reduce stress.
Stretches – Pick a few of your favorite relaxing stretches and do them each night before bed. Taking time to slow down right before bed will calm your mind and prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.
Meditation – Try a quick meditation, whether seated or lying down, to help settle yourself. Simply emptying your mind or following a guided meditation offers full-body relaxation benefits. There are countless free exercises available, or you can sit quietly listening to music of your choice.
Epsom salt baths – A five minute soak in an Epsom salt bath provides the essential nutrient magnesium. Our magnesium levels are often lower during times of stress, and this mineral helps soothe our central nervous systems. You may find that these baths quickly help reduce irritability.
Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy is a powerful calming method. Place a few drops of a calming essential oil, like lavender or chamomile, into a diffuser, sit quietly and breathe. If you don’t have a diffuser, place a few drops onto a tissue and inhale.
A new year offers us the opportunity to start fresh. Make this year the year you release the stress and the harm it’s doing to your body.
Need more than five minutes? Join us January 9, 2016 for a mini-retreat. You will discover ways to combat stress by focusing on yourself, learning breathing techniques and eating well, all in the lovely setting of the Clifton Institute in Warrenton, VA.
For more information, contact me, Karen David. I’d love to help you make 2016 your best year yet.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.