Stress and anxiety not only make us feel horrible, they are really bad for our health. As a yoga teacher, I work with a lot of people who are struggling to get out of the cycle of worry and stress.
So here are the most effective ways I've seen first hand that bring stress from a 10 to a 2.
Deep breathing is the clinically, proven fastest way to bring your body out of the stressed ( fight or flight) side of the nervous system and into your calm (rest and digest) side. Faster than any drug.
I love 'equal breath', which involves deeply inhaling and exhaling into the belly for the same count of between 3-5. This triggers receptors in your lungs that tells the body to relax.
Why does exercise make you relax? Well, it makes your body produce all those lovely feel good hormones. Also, When your stressed it makes the body think you've ran away from the 'threat' so you naturally relax. Of course, I'm a big fan of yoga as an exercise that builds strength, flexibility and soothes the mind.
3. Guided Relaxation
What's more relaxing than a soothing voice, calming music and a set of headphones to create a little bubble of peace. There are so many guided relaxations out there. I love the 'Insight Timer' app as it's free and you can choose by categories like sleep, stress, self-esteem. I often use these at bedtime after a busy day to slow down.
4. Calm Club
Want to try all of the above but need some guidance and encouragement? That's why I created Calm Club because starting a relaxing habit can be tricky to stick to even when we know its super good for us. If your stressed and anxious Calm Club is here to help you to easily find pockets of time to relax and recharge for less than a good cup of coffee!