When I need to slow down and avoid being unnecessarily pressured, mad, sad, or worried, I count up and down from 0-10, slowly in my head. I inhale with the first number and exhale with the second number. After about 1 minute, the storm in my head and body relaxes a bit, and I can calm down enough to attend to the needs of myself and the loved ones who need me. I also clench my fists tightly as long as I can and then go limp. A rush of warmth and calm ensues. Another daily slowing down of my mind and body is self care through Bikram Hot Yoga. The teachers are doing all of the detail work and speaking, so I can let go of control and take in their words and just follow along. Giving up control and allowing someone else to guide me is a gift, especially if we trust that person.
Studies indicate that prayer, meditation, relaxation exercises, yoga, and other restorative practices help speed up the healing processes in many areas of our health. It actually soothes the nervous system, as well as deepens self awareness (CHOPRA.COM). The ancient roots of mindfulness have modern applications. We can improve depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and conflicts (HELPGUIDE.ORG). The more one practices, the better the benefits. Regular yoga practice, in any style, benefits high blood pressure, diabetes, artheitis, pregnancy, and even heart disease (WEBMD.COM).
I encourage you to turn the internal engine off, and also keep your internal engine from overheating, with some sort of practice that allows you a relief from stressful moments in your very busy lives. This has helped me tremendously and I am a nicer person because of it. I am also a safer person because of it!
What do you do for relief and stress reduction? I want to hear from you.
Be blessed and safe this holiday season,
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