3 Tips to Relax Your Nervous System Throughout the Day
3 Tips to Relax Your Nervous System Throughout the Day
Mindbody Wellness Clarity Tips
Dear Awesome Woman,
Even though it’s summer and the warm weather feels so relaxing, depending on what is going on in your life, you may not be feeling so relaxed. If your to-do list is a mile long, and you’re pushing yourself through too many work and household tasks then you’re going to feel stressed no matter the temperature and beauty outside.
There are some little practices throughout your day that can help you relax your nervous system and lessen the tension in your mind and body. You can pick and choose or do them all—whatever feels possible for you. The key is pressure off, self-compassion and kindness on.
1) Get Bigger with your Energy
I’ve been listening to Amy Cuddy’s book, “Presence,” and loving the physiological changes in the body that take place through taking up more space with our bodies. Throughout the day, make your body bigger by taking moments to stretch upwards in a victory pose, stand with hands on hips in a Wonder Woman pose or put your legs on a desk and lean backwards in a chair in executive pose. She suggests doing these for 2 minutes at a time, but I love shortcuts and have found that by just using them for seconds at a time during my day, I feel great! Definitely more empowered and energized. And don’t forget to celebrate and Cheer Yourself On with a “Yay me!” as well.
2) Use “choose to” Instead of “have to”
The language that we use and the way we speak to ourselves makes a difference to our nervous systems. We can ramp up our tension or reduce it. I coach myself throughout my day—I watch the way I speak to myself, I get bigger with my energy, I take conscious breaths, I dispel triggers using the ROAR! Process as a somatic release, I go out in nature (anyone on my Facebook page can see that I love taking pics of the flowers from my garden—my posts are public so you can read mindbody wisdom there daily), and get movement through simple exercise. As much as possible, I choose what I’m doing and use that language as well. This does not make for completely stress-free living but it certainly helps a lot. So, I encourage you to replace the tension-inducing words, “have to,” with “choose to.” Take a moment to notice what happens in your body with these words.
“I have to go to the dentist, go to the bank, do laundry and make dinner.”
Do you expand or contract with “have to”? Do you feel energized or downtrodden? Or neutral, normal? Everybody’s body is different—check out what is subtly going on in yours.
“I choose to go to the dentist, go to the bank, do laundry, and make dinner.” What feels different?
We do things because the results that we want make a difference to us. Most likely you desire clean clothes, health, bills paid on time and food for you and your loved ones. So you’re choosing to do these things. Be kind to your body by dropping the words, “have to.”
3) Soft Focus & Conscious Breath
If you were a lioness on a hunt your eyes would be sharp focused, staring ahead of you, ears drawn forward. You’ve got a mission. You’d be ramping up your system to race after prey.
But you are not a lioness on a hunt. Sure, you’re a busy woman, but unless there is a health crisis (sometimes there is) or an emergency, you do not need to be in sharp focus. You can consciously relax your face and shoulders and belly as you complete tasks throughout your day.
Try this: Look in front of you with sharp focus by furrowing your brow and staring at something in front of you.
Now, with eyes forward, look at the same object in front of you but softly notice what is in your peripheral vision. Automatically, you’ll release your shoulders down and soften your facial features.
Take a conscious breath into your belly and release a long, gentle exhale out. Ta da! That’s much better for your nervous system. Now with that soft focus, please take a brief look at this article where I discuss the 3 B’s concept from Martha Beck so that you can adjust your to-do list with kindness to yourself.
The world is a pretty intense place and life seems to be moving faster and faster. Please use these tips to take care of your body, mind and soul throughout the day—a more relaxed nervous system means a healthier you!
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