Stress no more – 1 easy solution
Are you suffering from any of these: tight chest, shallow breathing, clenched jaw, achy neck, tense muscles? It’s likely you are stressed out. Molly Furzer explains how to relax in minutes.
A quick and easy method to relieve stress is to use your breath. That’s right! Don’t reach for a can of Coke, a cigarette, chocolate bar or switch on the TV – there’s a healthy and natural way to bring your body and mind back into a relaxed state.
Pranayama, yoga’s focus on the body’s energy through breath practices, can relax your body, which then relaxes your mind.
Try the simple pranayama practice called the Yogic Breath:
Sit quietly and focus on your natural breath, noticing the qualities of the breath. Is it long and deep or short and shallow? Is there tightness in the chest, throat or jaw?
Now start to deliberately deepen your breath, inhaling into the bottom of your lungs, then slowly filling up to the middle and top of the lungs. Exhale from the top of the lungs, slowly, finishing at the base of the lungs. That’s one round.
Continue like this, observing the expansion of the lungs, ribs and chest on the inhale, and the contraction on the exhale.
If the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the practice (this may happen a lot if you are quite stressed and the mind finds it hard to focus, but persist). By relaxing the body through the breath, the mind will calm also.
Now it’s up to you to figure out what made you stressed in the first place. Try to deal with the cause or find a way to avoid stressing. Recurring reactions to similar situations can be hard to change, but just becoming aware of it is a huge step!
Molly Furzer has been practising yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2007. She teaches gentle yoga to adults and Kids & Family Yoga in the Rainbow Kids Yoga method. She also leads Laughter Yoga classes and offers Intuitive Healing.