Stress is a significant public health challenge of modern life. While each of us feels stress in varying degrees, prolonged stress is a significant factor that can result in both mental and physical health problems. Linked to an array of issues including anxiety, depression, heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems - it’s essential to keep on top of stress levels for optimum wellbeing.
Adding yoga, mindfulness and meditation to your self-care tool kit is a simple and effective way to help you regulate your nervous system and decrease feelings of stress and overwhelm. Whether you incorporate these practices daily or dip in and out them; nurture your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing this Stress Awareness month and beyond with these simple tools.
Fast paced, modern life doesn’t provide many opportunities to slow down and experience quality rest. Try adding one or two restorative yoga sessions to your weekly routine. Yin yoga allows for the breath to deepen, the body to soften and the mind to settle. A predominately floor-based practice, asanas (yoga postures) are held for several minutes with the use of props, such as bolsters, blankets, blocks and eye masks to support the body to rest deeply.
A yin practice shifts the body from a state of ‘doing’ to ‘being’ and brings us back into the present moment. Looking for a place to start? Head to the Fable Yoga YouTube channel and select a yin or restorative class from one of our ambassador teachers.
Mindfulness isn’t just reserved for sitting in silent meditation. It’s an awareness of what is happening all around us moment by moment - the sights, sounds, textures and sensations of the present.
Adding moments of mindfulness throughout the day helps us to get out of our heads and into our bodies. It can be as simple as noticing the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs, the sounds of the birds we step outside to empty the bins or the feel of the ground beneath us on the walk to work. Finding pockets of time throughout the day for micro mindfulness can help to soothe the nervous system and promote feelings of peace.
Five minutes of consistent meditation daily is enough to notice benefits in your life. These can include decreased stress, improved concentration, lower blood pressure, and reduced symptoms of anxiety, just to name a few.
Meditation can help lower cortisol - the stress hormone - which in turn helps you feel more relaxed. Try a mantra meditation for a few minutes each morning before starting the day. Repeating a mantra either silently in your mind or vocally out loud during meditation can also have a calming effect, and by concentrating on your mantra, you're able to shift your focus away from distracting or intrusive thoughts.
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