One-Minute to Reduce Anxiety + 5 Bonus Stress-Reduction Tips

One-Minute to Reduce Anxiety + 5 Bonus Stress-Reduction Tips

One-Minute to Reduce Anxiety + 5 Bonus Stress-Reduction Tips

One-Minute to Reduce Anxiety + 5 Bonus Stress-Reduction Tips

One-Minute to Reduce Anxiety + 5 Bonus Stress-Reduction Tips

Answer honestly…


Do you feel chronically stressed and anxious? So many of us are in a constant state of “fight or flight” between trying to keep up with our never ending to-do lists, excelling in our careers, helping our kids with their daily activities, managing personal relationships, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and trying to eat healthy and exercise that we can’t even remember a time when we weren’t stressed out!


In this article we will take a look at some of the negative ramifications of letting our stress spiral out of control and several simple, but highly effective ways to manage our daily anxieties - particularly through breathwork!


The Negative Effects of Stress
A few of the most common symptoms of living with too much stress and anxiety are: 

  • Headaches: Tension headaches can make it feel like a tight band is wrapping around the sides of your head.
  • More frequent illness: Decreased immunity can result from chronic and high stress levels. This can make you more susceptible to common illnesses such as colds and flu, but also can lead to more significant health conditions.  
  • Poor sleep: Being stressed can prevent you from experiencing deep, restorative sleep and cause you to wake up more frequently at night.
  • Weight gain and appetite changes: It is not unusual to lose your appetite while stressed out, or the reverse may happen and you may find yourself mindlessly eating.
  • Other problems can be rapid heartbeat, depression, less energy, muscle tension, digestive issues, and increased risk of stroke or heart attack

As you can see, having a stress-reduction plan is critical for our mental and physical health since ongoing stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. This is why it is so important to find ways to handle this stress since we are not always able to remove all the stressors in our lives. 


The Importance of Breathwork for Our Mental and Physical Health


One of the best ways to find peace and calm is by practicing slow and mindful breathing. When we breathe this way, our body goes into a parasympathetic (rest and digest) state instead of a sympathetic (fight or flight) state, making us feel more calm and relaxed. 


Here are some of the top benefits of practicing daily breathwork: 

  • Pain relief
  • Improved mood
  • Improved focus and attention
  • Increased energy
  • Improved heart function
  • Improved lung function
  • Emotional stress and anxiety relief


One of the best reasons to slow down and take a deep breath (literally!) is for reducing emotional stress and anxiety. You can very easily get started on this practice, and the best part is it can be done in only one minute! 


A Simple, One-Minute Breathing Exercise for Stress Relief
 
This breathing activity can calm your nervous system and is great to add into your day, either starting as a morning ritual, before you break for lunch, or even in between Zoom meetings. Not only will you feel more relaxed, but it will help with your mental clarity and alertness. 


  • Relax- In a comfortable, seated position, sit up tall. Do a mental scan of your body and you may notice tension you didn’t even know was there. To ground yourself, your palms can be placed face down on your legs, or leave them facing up and open. Relax your facial muscles and close your eyes. 

  • Choose Your Focus- Think about a word or intention that you would like to be a part of your breathing. “Safe” “Calm” “Gratitude” or “Patience” are some ideas of words that you can bring to mind or vocalise.

  • Let Go - Exhale deeply from within your body to release stagnant air and energy. 

  • Breathe - Now focus on three cycles of breathing, remembering your intentions. Exhale slowly through your mouth, inhale slowly through your nose. Notice your upper body and your belly expanding and the air reaching from your belly to the crown of your head. Feel your third inhale washing over you and hold your breath there for a moment. Afterwards, exhale away anything that may be causing stress to your day, focusing on your intentions. 
  • Then it is time to resume your day - refreshed and more calm!  


    5 More Simple Steps to Reduce Stress:


    Breathwork exercises are among the most effective ways to manage anxiety, but there are many other simple methods you can add to your life in response to the daily pressures.

     

  • Be more physically active - A sedentary lifestyle increases stress. This is why it’s so important to make an effort to participate in daily movements that you enjoy doing! This could be going for a walk without your phone, running around in the backyard with your kids, swimming laps at your local pool, or practicing 15-minutes of Pilates or Yoga. 

  • Eat more whole foods - Avoid ultra processed foods and refined sugar and be sure you don’t mindlessly overeat as a response to stress. Be sure to fill your plate with nutrient-dense whole foods that are delicious to eat and make you feel satisfied. 

  • Take a break from screens - While screens are a necessary part of life, excessive time on them can affect sleep patterns and exacerbate stress levels. Be sure to turn off all electronic devices at least 2 hours before bed. 

  • Reduce caffeine - Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, and too much of it is attributed to worsening feelings of anxiety! Instead, enjoy a soothing cup of one of your favourite kinds of tea. 

  • Spend time with friends and family - Having a support system is an excellent way to help you process your thoughts and feelings. Spending time with loved ones can also help take your mind off the daily stressors you experience. 

  • Try incorporating these simple practices throughout the day and you will likely start to notice that you are able to respond to the pressures of life more calmly and positively which will ultimately lead to you living a healthier, more abundant life!

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