Feeling funky (as my mom would say)? I offer you 5 steps to bring you to a calmer, easier day, right now.
All of these techniques work almost immediately, and you can utilize them anywhere! You can do all 5 (my recommendation) or you can start with whatever feels right, you know what is best for you!
Allow yourself to be present, patient and non-judgmental and you’ll see how easily you can empower yourself to stay calm and relaxed even in the most stressful or unpleasant situations.
**Where are you shoulders? If you’re feeling tense, stressed or mired in emotions and know your shoulders are trying to make out with your ears. Notice where they are and then roll them slowly down your back. Every time you feel anxious or overwhelmed, the first thing you should do is check in with the shoulders, and bring them as far from your ears as possible (your ears told me they’re not at all into your shoulders that way). I promise you’ll feel relief instantly. When the body is calm, the mind is calm. Extra bonus: a practice in body communication!
**Breathe. The reason you hear this SO often is because it works. Close your eyes and inhale and exhale as deeply as you can. When you inhale let your belly grow big, by filling it with air before you fill the lungs (I read this in The Heart of Yoga and after years of not getting it, it clicked, so give it a chance!); when you exhale allow your belly button to come back toward your spine. However many breaths feels good is absolutely perfect, and if they don’t originate from the stomach that’s ok! One day they will. Be where you are, and repeat to yourself “now I inhale, now I exhale”.
**Feel your feet. Part of the reason we sometimes feel funky, anxious or depressed is because we are not grounded. Take a moment (sitting, standing it doesn’t matter) to really feel your feet planted firmly on the ground. If you’re sitting, bring your palms face down to your knees, if you’re standing bring your hands to your heart. Again bring some attention to the breath, as simple as “now I inhale, now I exhale”. Sit or stand here for however long feels right, there is no wrong way!
**Take action. Sometimes we may feel depressed because ultimately we don’t feel empowered. When we find ourselves stuck in wanting a change, but feeling overwhelmed at the idea, the best and only thing to do is take ababy step. Just do one thing! Anything! If you want a new job, just sign onto Craig’s List—that’s all you have to do. If you want to lose weight, just have one bottle of water instead of a coke. Start where you are, and then continue- an object in motion will stay in motion. Take one little step and then you’ll take two, and so on. If you’re having trouble with this or want to add extra fuel to your fire, do some ab work-high plank for as long as you can hold it once a day. Boom, done.
**Find compassion. Getting annoyed at work, with a friend or with yourself hardens your heart and you find that your chest feels tight, your stomach feels upset and you’re all around uncomfortable, maybe even for days or weeks. Soften into compassion and kindness and you’ll feel much lighter and more liberated. A kind heart is a happy heart.
**Bonus tip from Genius Lindsay! DRINK WATER!!!! It’s amazing the difference it can make when we haven’t had enough. If you find yourself with a headache, super tired, grumpy or just foggy get thee to a tap! This has absolutely been one of the most invaluable teachings of many from my dear friend and partner.
If you take even just a moment to do one of these things, I can guarantee you, you will feel better immediately. Allow them to build on each other, and like anything to grow with patience and presence.
Allow yourself to exist, to feel and to move forward.