Now is the time to take time for yourself. Even those who have nutrition, exercise, and supplementation under control can suffer from increased long-term health risks due to chronic stress. The latest in our Simple Steps to Wellness blogs, today we’re touching on relaxation.
Don’t underestimate the power of a moment alone. Taking 10 minutes to yourself can help hit the “reset” on all the troubles of the day.
Challenge yourself: “For one week, I will take 10 minutes to myself every day to clear my mind – no computer or phone allowed!”
First of all, don’t yell.
- An Unplugged Walk: Taking a walk around the block, leaving your phone behind.
- A Yoga Session: A session can open up the muscles, allow you to breathe, and help you bond with your inner self. This is a simple, 7-minute whole body stretching routine that you can do at home or in a small floor space of a conference room. Beyond the stress relief, a new study suggests that hatha yoga also may boost brain function in older adults.
- Meditating: Consider scheduling yourself to meditate for a few minutes every day. According to New York physician Dr. Kulkarni, medication automatically reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, and improves breathing.
- Something fun: Listening to music, hitting the gym, or even something as simple as loading pictures from your favorite vacation onto your work computer can go a long way in knocking out stress.
- The Great Outdoors: WellnessFX practitioner Kathie Madonna Swift, RD, MS suggests that “Being in nature, whether it is taking a long hike, rollerblading, biking, kayaking, or swimming in a pristine lake, is nourishing to your body, mind, and spirit.” She advocates to making it a point to “step outdoors each and every day and take in the sights, sounds, and scents of the season.”
- Breathing Mindfully: 10 deep breaths can relieve immediate stress, says WellnessFX practitioner Janelle Deeds. Dr. Andrew Weill, a physician who focuses on integrative medicine, states that “practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”
Bonus: Relaxing when You Don’t Have Time
If you have seven minutes a day to spare, you have time to relax.
Dr. Amyee Coget, founder of The Happiness Makeover(™) Training Program, suggests the following to clear your mind:
- Get a meditation song you love that is about seven minutes long
- Play this song while laying down. Place one hand on your heart and one on your belly.
- Now empty yourself. Release all thoughts, all emotions and all physical sensations
Breathe It Out
For Dr. Weill’s 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise:
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
This is one breathe – now inhale again and repeat this cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Simple Steps to Wellness: Want More?
We believe that incorporating small, feasible changes over shorter periods of change can help you experience the motivation and confidence that comes from seeing your personal goals fulfilled. Remember, you don’t need to wait until January 1, 20XX to get started – you can start today. You can incorporate healthy habits into your life with more ease than you may think. For more tips on wellness that are actionable and easy to bring into your everyday life, you can start with “A Single, Powerful Immunity Booster.”
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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.