Mindful Tips to Ease Stressful Times

Updated: Apr 10

It's a whirlwind right now. Collectively, we are experiencing physical, emotional, and mental anxiety that permeates us as soon as we wake up in the morning and before we fall asleep at night. My dear one, it is a lot to handle, on top of our existing daily worries. Many of us can't even get a proper night sleep because even our dreams are carrying on our daily angst in the forms of apocalyptic nightmares that wake us up in cold sweat ...


While anxiety is in the air, I’m focused on all the positive things in my life and the many many things to be thankful for. It’s easier said than done, of course. I’m only here because of years of dedicated practices and studies. Even so, I still have those stray-away moments. I’m only human.


To provide assurance to our kids and family, take care of oneself first. As wisely stated in flight manuals: put on your own mask before tending to your children. Allow me to share some easy tips you can do right away during times like this (or any other stressful day).

 

TIP #1 - TEN DEEP BREATHS


Breathing. Seems simple enough, right? It’s so automatic we don’t even notice it most of the time. But what I’m referring to is deep, belly breaths. “Belly,” in that you’re breathing SO deeply you can feel it in your belly or abs (depending on how in shape you are! 😉)


Whenever you feel stressed out from your kids’ screaming or feel nervous before a big meeting, walk away from the situation and find a quiet space where you can be alone for a few minutes. In a comfortable position, close your eyes and start breathing slowly. On the in breath, try breathing in from your nose into your belly, breathing in as much air as you can. On the out breath, slowly breathe out, releasing all the air from your belly. You can even put your hands over your belly to feel the gentle up-and-down movement. Do this for about 10 breaths or what feels right to you. If you find yourself unable to focus, you can even think the words “in” and “out” as you breathe. Or, be creative and find words that resonate with you at the moment. It can be “love,” “peace,” “calm” as you breathe in, “worries,” “stress,” “negativity,” as you breathe out.


When our lungs are filled up with clean fresh air, we then have all the oxygen we need for our bodies to do the work they’re designed to do - give us energy, clear our minds, and improve our health. It’s also important to let all the air out of our lungs as well, saying goodbye to all which no longer serves us. Breathing not only relaxes us but scientifically keeps us healthy. You can easily try this with your children too! (More tips to come for kids!).


TIP #2: BODY SCAN


Sometimes we are so caught up in our daily stress that we don’t even realize the physical discomforts we are experiencing like headaches, back or shoulder pains, tense muscles. Our physical state is connected to our emotional and mental well-being. Thus, body scan is a wonderful mindfulness practice to release tension that we’re not even aware of. I especially love doing this before I sleep at night, even teaching it to my boys in fun and creative ways!


Start in a comfortable position, preferably lying down for total relaxation. Be gentle with your eyes and start breathing slowly (belly breaths!) Now, bring your attention down to your feet and begin observing the sensations in one foot. I start with my toes to really bring in the attention. Notice if you feel anything. If so, acknowledge it (and any thoughts/ emotions that come with) and gently breathe through it. If there’s pain or discomfort in that specific body part, you can visualize the tension leaving your body through your breaths, evaporating into midair. Continue this practice with each area of the body, moving from your right foot to your left, moving all the way up to the top of your crown. If you can make it all the way there without falling asleep, you’re amazing!


TIP #3: MINDFUL LIVING