According to Garance Clos, wellness advocate, writer, and yoga teacher, people over complicate things when it comes to stress reduction. She says, "You don't have to start doing yoga every week, eat more kale, go vegan or know what a chakra is." All you need to do is relax! She offers 5 ways for us to easily reduce stress and anxiety:
1. It's all about perspective.
As the saying goes, the glass is either half empty or half full. Clos says, "You choose the way you want to look at life. Most of the time, stress is made up by false beliefs and negative self-talk." It is important for us to let things go if we know that we cannot resolve a problem in the next 2 hours or if the situation is out of our hands. By shifting our perspective and embracing whatever life throws at us with gratitude, we are able to see the bigger picture and see what life is giving us rather than what is lacking. It's hard to be stressed when you are grateful!
2. If you can regulate your breath, you can regulate pretty much anything in life.
Regulating and controlling your breath is extremely powerful. Your breath is what keeps you alive and helps you navigate the physical and emotional challenges of life. When you feel stressed, angry, or scared, your breath accelerates. You have the power to slow down your breath and re-center yourself. Focus your attention to your heart and take inhales and exhales until your heart rate decreases. If you have the power to control your breath, you can control anything that comes your way.
3. Honor your core values.
We all have a set of core values that we live by, such as integrity, honesty, courage, positivity, kindness, respect, and commitment. These values lead us through life and help us make decisions. If we fail to honor these values, we often feel stressed. You may feel guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed. By honoring your values, you free your conscious mind, which helps keep your stress in check.
4. Give yourself a hug.
Give yourself a hug and schedule time for yourself! Take a yoga class, go for a walk with friends, watch a movie, or take a warm bath. Do whatever you need to do to feel like you are taken care of. By taking the time to take care of ourselves we are able to dramatically reduce our stress. Remember, we can't take care of others until we take care of ourselves first!
5. Do less.
Instead of making a long list of tasks to accomplish in a day, focus on doing less activities, but with more mindfulness and meaning. We often over schedule ourselves to make us appear important and busy. This only leads us to feel unsatisfied when we cannot accomplish everything on our to-do lists and results in added stress. Clos says, "The only way to make a real difference is to make every action count, be fully present and conscious of the consequences of all your actions. Focus on one task at a time, learn to prioritize and just go with the flow."
Incorporate at least one of these secrets to living a stress-free life to your daily routine and you will see a difference. Over time, aim to incorporate more of these secrets as you make the others a habit. For more tips and advice for living a stress-free life, take a look at our health and wellness classes. We have everything from stress reduction for men to community yoga and psychotherapy.