Our state of mind has a powerful effect on our physical well-being. Stress can deplete our energy reserves and lower our immunity. If you feel stressed, it is crucial to take time to release emotional and mental tensions. Slowing down the chattering mind and releasing anxiety will make you feel strong, alert and able to tackle challenges in a productive way. Reducing stress can also boost your immune system. Here are a few tips to let go of tensions:
Take Mindfulness Breaks
To release stress, try taking a few mindfulness breaks during the day. Start by closing your eyes and becoming aware of your body, relaxing your shoulders and any other parts of the body where you feel tension. Take your time and with your awareness, go through each part of the body one by one, relaxing and releasing. Do not forget to breathe. This only takes a few moments and will have a great impact on your wellbeing. If you find it difficult to take mindfulness breaks, try creating your own ritual around it. You could light a candle, put on relaxing music, burn incense or use aromatherapy oils. Shankara has a variety of aromatherapy blends specifically formulated to uplift the mind and encourage a deeper meditative state. Elements Massage has partnered with Shankara and offers an exclusive line of aromatherapy blends that can be added to any massage to enhance the experience and encourage a deeper level of relaxation and restoration.
Stay Grounded with Massage
We are much more susceptible to feeling stressed and overwhelmed when we are not grounded. In order to anchor the racing mind we need to get back into our bodies. One of the best ways to achieve this is with massage. The experienced massage therapists at Elements Massage will be able to select the massage technique that will be most beneficial for your wellbeing and offer a safe and nurturing environment to let go of accumulated stress. Receiving a regular massage can make a huge difference in regaining and maintaining our sense of inner strength and balance. In fact massage is so important to our wellbeing that in many traditions it is recommended to do a mini self-massage regularly if not daily. This is a great way to maintain the benefits of your professional massage in between visits to see us.
Focus on Breathing
Stress influences our breathing and in turn breathing can influence and reduce stress. One of the best breathing exercises to calm the mind is a technique called alternate nostril breathing. This is a very powerful tool to combat stress. Check out this video, created by our partners at The Art of Living, for instructions on alternate nostril breathing technique.
This is a simple and powerful way to release tension in your body and mind. You will need about 10 minutes of alone time where you won’t be interrupted. Start by standing, sitting down or laying on your bed. Close your eyes, let go, and allow your body to release tension. You may feel like swaying, contracting, lengthening etc. You may notice that you start yawning which is a sign of tension leaving your system. Emotions most likely will rise up during the process as stress gets released. Be a witness to those emotions and observe as they rise up and get released in waves. Take as long as you need to rest afterwards and come out of the process. You will be amazed at how light and refreshed you will feel! If you are having difficulty feeling into your body try putting on some music that speaks to your heart for the process. You can also stand with your eyes closed, bend your knees slightly, relax your body and start bouncing gently. This may help you connect and feel what is happening inside yourself more easily.
Invite Restorative Sleep
To get better quality sleep, avoid electronic devices for at least one hour before bed. This gives your mind a chance to unwind. You can play relaxing music, do some gentle stretching, take a warm bath…anything that helps you let go of the tensions of the day. Drinking a cup of turmeric milk and massaging your feet with essential oils to help with grounding and calming.
All 5 of these tips can help release tension and increase mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Anxiety being more predominant when vata (air element in the body/mind) gets aggravated, it is important to remember to slow down, follow a regular routine and to ground and nurture ourselves to keep vata in check.