Our daily life can be hectic, chaotic and demanding – especially at this time of the year. Here we list some tips to reducing stress, increasing energy levels, and finding a sense of calm and tranquility in a fast-paced world.
1. Getting enough sleep
During sleep, our bodies rest and conserve energy by decreasing blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and body temperature. Sleep rejuvenates, replenishes and rebuilds the body.
Regular good quality sleep is important for brain function, emotional wellbeing, physical health, and performance.
In order to keep our minds and bodies healthy and working at optimum capacity, it’s crucial to get plenty of rest. Find a relaxing bed time ritual that helps you to wind down each night and make it a part of your routine.
2. Take a deep breath
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to interrupt the fight-or-flight response and lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down, which informs the body to relax.
Whenever we are anxious, we tend to take quick, shallow breaths. This hyperventilating increases our heart rate and blood pressure, making us feel dizzy, light-headed, and panicky.
If you find yourself breathing rapidly, try inhaling a deep belly breath through your nose, holding it a second, and releasing it slowly from your mouth. Repeat this rhythmic breathing exercise until you feel calmer.
Meditation and mindfulness
Meditation allows you to let go of stress, worries and racing thoughts. The practice brings huge health benefits and increases your levels of energy, happiness, inspiration and inner zen.
Find a tranquil spot and give it a try. Even 10 minutes a day can have a positive impact on your life. It also strengthens mindfulness, so you’ll find it much easier to become present throughout the day.
Mindfulness is a practical and simple way to increase relaxation and self-awareness. It is all about learning to be still and the practice of returning your attention to the now.
3. Loosen up
Perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense (such as a clenched jaw or tight neck). Gently massage or stretch any body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation (it may help to imagine yourself in a calming place such as a beach or forest).
Yoga poses are not only an excellent way to stretch and invigorate the body, but the practice also alleviates stress, bringing an inner sense of calmness, benefiting overall mental health. If you haven’t already tried yoga, we highly recommend it.
4. Let go
Sometimes an issue can seem like the end of the world. Ask yourself whether this will matter in a week, month, year or 10 years from now. It likely won’t.
Stressing and agonising over things out of your control won’t do you any good, and it’s healthiest to simply let it go. Take a short break and calm yourself by counting to 10. The consider then situation afresh to gain perspective.
You may not always be able to control the things that happen to you, but you can choose how you react to them. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
5. Express gratitude
Gratitude turns what we have into enough. By focusing on the positives (even the most basic aspects like food on our table), we feel more content.
Expressing gratitude and showing appreciation for the ordinary things and events in daily life, not only reduces stress, but contributes in a profound and practical way to wellbeing and happiness.
6. Good vibes
We all have certain hobbies and activities we love doing — they make us feel fulfilled and alive. For you it could be cooking, dancing, singing, gardening, writing, painting, swimming, surfing, or helping at a local charity.
We enjoy doing our favourite activities so much that we often lose ourselves in them – because we are putting all of our attention into the present moment.
Incorporating activities that bring joy into your weekly routine, will undoubtedly boost your happiness levels. Get your nature fix, find your happy place, feel the good vibes, and get lost in the flow of doing things you love.
7. Laugh your head off
Laughter truly is the best medicine and is a powerful tool in reducing tenseness. Laughter relaxes the whole body and is essential to wellbeing. A big hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter releases endorphins, causes a significant reduction in three highly detrimental stress hormones, and boosts the immune system.
Find some funny moments in your day, surround yourself with humorous people, or try a laughing yoga class!
8. Enjoy the journey
Constantly focusing on the future and end results has become the societal norm. However, continually getting ahead and chasing the next thing can be deeply exhausting.
Happiness is attained by living in the moment – find joy in working on your goals, rather than always focusing on the finishing and achieving part. The following quote is popular for a reason, because it rings true for so many of us.
‘Focus on the journey, not the destination.’
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
While goals are important, it can be easy to focus solely on the goal and disregard the journey altogether – when the journey is the real reward. The key is to strike the right balance.
Your feedback and questions
What are your tips to finding calmness and serenity? What experiences do you recommend for slowing down in a busy world? We look forward to your feedback, just leave a comment.