By KinesiAlice Holistic Kinesiology
Photo credit: Sarah Keen, Light Her Lantern
Stress is bad – we all know that. And we get told to not stress – but it’s not like you can just tell your body not to stress! Here’s some simple techniques to teach your mind and your body HOW to not stress, even if just for a few minutes. Do some of these each day, and especially when you feel stress creeping in…
We all know that breathing is kind of useful! But there are a couple of simple breathing techniques (there’s lots, but let’s start here) that help your mind and your body to calm down. People tend to like one more than the other, so try them both out to see which one you like. Lots of meditation apps have breathing programs in them now, as do smart watches! Check out the meditation apps below, as well as having a look around to find more.
- Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, out for 4 counts, and hold for 4 counts. Repeat! Some people with lung issues may find this a little challenging or stressful, so if that is the case, this might not be the breathing exercise for you.
- Breathe in for 4 counts, and out for 8 counts, in for 4, out for 8. Repeat! This exercise is comfortable for most people.
Try each of them for a few minutes, and then do the one you like a few minutes a day. Your heart rate will settle, your breathing will slow, and your body will relax when you find the one that works for you!
5 or 10 minutes a day – that’s all!
A lot of people say to me that they’ve tried meditation and it doesn’t work. I’ll let you in on a little secret – it didn’t work for me for a long time either. Until I found the one that worked for me, which I’ll share below:
Things for you to know with meditation: The thoughts will still come. The distractions will still come. With both thoughts and distractions – acknowledge them, put them aside and come back to your breathing, the music or the voice.
Try these guided meditation apps:
- Smiling Mind
- Relax Melodies (not free but my personal favourite) –
- Insight Timer – this is free and has 24,000 meditations as of 30 April 2020
This is the first meditation that works for me, and is scientifically shown to work for 80% of people the first time they try it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl0oX_he_7w&feature=youtu.be
There are lots and lots of apps and YouTube clips – the key is to find something that works for you.
If you would like me to teach you how to meditate – book in for a consultation and I will teach you within your session. I will be running classes again soon – stay tuned for updates – make sure you read my newsletter or follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
Toxic food = toxic thoughts.
Here’s some tips:
- Eat the rainbow when you have control over your food
- Drink a glass of water to a glass of alcohol (you’ll thank me the next day)
- Drink more water, chances are you’re not drinking enough. Herbal tea counts, coffee does not!
- Reduce your coffee – yes that means you!
- Be balanced in what you are choosing to do and eat. If you have the capability to make healthy choices, do it. If not, enjoy yourself, and then get back to it at the next meal. 80/20 will help balance the overindulgence
- All diets, eating plans, eating styles etc are really some combination of eat more meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts and good fats, and eat less processed food, food-like substances. Look at what you are eating!
- Missing something? Find a healthier version of it and make it
- Plan! A lot of the stress around food comes from having to make decisions night after night after night, or having to go to the shops each day – plan a week or a month in advance, and get the whole family involved
Good sleep hygiene is just as important as the amount of sleep you need to function well. Lack of sleep leads to increased stress hormone production, increased use of coffee, and lower mood.
Here are a few tips:
- No phones or iPads an hour before you want to go to sleep.
- Meditation, relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation
- Chamomile tea, sleepy tea, dreamtime tea – herbal tea is great to promote sleep.
- Have you thought about reducing your coffee intake? Especially in the afternoon! Caffeine can really interfere with sleep.
- Consider your alcohol intake. This affects sleep quality too, as your liver is busy processing the alcohol instead of allowing you to sleep well.
Get your feet on the grass!
Grounding (or earthing) is a great way to connect back to the earth and pull energy down from your head back into your body. My favourite way to do this is to make a cup of (herbal of course!) tea, head out into the back yard in the morning and get the sun on your back. This has a few extra benefits in Chinese Medicine as well, so you are combining things that will help with anxiety, stress, digestion, circulation and body awareness all at the same time!
Emotional Stress Release
Have you ever noticed how people grab their foreheads when they’re stressed? They’re instinctively trying to help themselves.
These acupressure points on your forehead are known as Emotional Stress Release points. They are in the middle of your eyebrows, about 1/3 of the way up your forehead. Hold these points for a few minutes, and you will feel a lot better! They’re good for stress, working through something, and getting your thoughts flowing again when you can’t think through something, rather than think ABOUT something.
Get Out of Your Thoughts
This is a great tool to help with this
This tool is great for distracting, resetting and regrouping, and stopping the monkey mind or thought cycle. Just pick:
- 5 things you see – e.g. chair, table, dog, telephone, jacket, glass
- 5 things you hear – e.g. air conditioner, birds, your breathing, cars, talking
- 5 things you feel – physically feel – e.g. shirt on shoulders, watch on wrist, shoes on feet, hair on neck, pants on legs
Breaking your thought cycle even for 5 minutes will help to lower your stress and bring your awareness to your environment.
Try these tips to help with your stress, and if you need some support in lowering your stress, contact one of the many ATMS practitioners that can help you in a variety of ways!
For more great health tips, check out KinesiAlice’s blog www.kinesialice.com.au/blog
Book online for a consultation at www.kinesialice.com.au/book
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube as KinesiAlice