Calm the Body; Calm the Mind
Everything in your body is connected. How can you calm both your physical and mental self to truly relax? Your physical wellbeing isn’t just about moving your body, getting enough water or staying safe in the sun. Your physical wellbeing is about having enough energy each day to do what you need and want to do. The techniques outlined in this challenge will guide you in practicing some true self-care.
Take inventory of yourself and how your body. When you’re feeling anxious or stressed over something minor like a slow-moving person at the store or something more significant fear of losing your job, both can cause a physical reaction.
Once you identify times when your stress-response (more on that below) kicks in, try one of the options below to help you mitigate the impact.
You can feel it building. There it is—that tension at the back of your neck, or maybe you can feel your jaw clenching. Perhaps your hands are clammy and your heart starts to beat a little faster than it was before. This is your stress-response, also known as fight or flight. Dating back to the says where humans were chased by animals, this response is known to help keep us safe when presented with life-threatening danger. However, it’s easily activated by things that aren’t going to be immediately harmful. We can develop comping mechanisms to help our bodies calm down.
Focus on your breath: You’ve likely heard this before; that’s because it works. Long, slow, deep breaths where your belly distends and then releases the air you’ve taken in. Over and over. When you focus on this process your mind releases of the distracting thoughts that were causing angst.
Toes to head: Combine the above technique with the progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, focus your attention on relaxing the tension in that area. Move up your body a little at a time, focusing on each specific area and consciously release the stress you may be holding. This is most relaxing when laying down, but can be done sitting as well.
Visualization: What’s a place that helps you feel calm? Is it the beach, a spot on a favorite hike, your glorious bed?! When you start to feel that stress creeping in, take yourself to that place—what do you see, what do you smell? Is there a taste? What is there to hear? Walking yourself through a visualization helps take the focus off what it is you’re worried about and refocuses you on something that’s deeply, personally relaxing.
These three options can be done almost anywhere and at any time with little to no prep or materials. Practice them a time or two so your mind doesn’t have to search too far when you find yourself in need. When your body is in a constant or heightened state of stress it can cause short and long-term issues.
Sisters, we have made it easier for you to document your participation in A Clear Vision of Life: The Wellbeing Program and be entered to win a Challenge incentive. Just fill out the form below!