Discovering the Power of Deep Breathing
Alright, allow me to put a pause to the world's whirlwind and invite you into mine. Picture this: The early Perth sun is meeting the horizon, my children, Tate and Keely are somewhere fighting over the remote control, and my lovely pets, Ludo and Zephyr, taking advantage of the chaos, are engaged in their ever-present rivalry - the battle over who will get the coziest spot on the coffee table first. In the midst of this endearing chaos, I realize I need a moment for myself.
I retreat to a quiet corner of our home, bringing my focus back to myself via the gateway of my breath. Subtle yet powerful. Overlooked yet significantly impactful, deep breathing is a sure-fire means to reduce stress. It's not only the breath you're taking in; it's also about exhaling all the tension, all the worries, and all the piled up tasks on your schedule. Every time you feel the rush overwhelming you, just take a break and breathe deeply. Five minutes of focused, deep breathing can work wonders, effectively decreasing tension, slowing your heart rate, and lowering your blood pressure.
The Art of Mindful Meditation
My encounter with mindful meditation began when my life had gone from 0 to 100 in a matter of weeks. Suddenly, things had changed, my surroundings were noisy and the silence - disappeared. That's when meditation walked in and steadied everything. Today, I swear by its effectiveness in reducing stress and allowing you to get back in touch with yourself.
Mindful meditation is essentially about bringing your focus back to the moment, putting a lid on unhelpful thoughts that try to predict the future or analyze the past. The distinct difference here is your approach to these thoughts - not entertaining them, not pushing them away, just letting them be. Start with 5 minutes daily and gradually increase this duration. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, clear your mind and let the calmness envelop you. And trust me when I say this, it works like magic.
A Date with Nature Rituals
On some days, I take Tate and Keely on nature walks, while other times it's just me, Ludo for company, the sound of the wind rustling the leaves, and the distant waves crashing on our city's pristine beaches. There's something about being close to nature that has an incredibly calming effect.
Nature has a beautiful way of whispering calming thoughts that drown out the chaotic ruckus of our everyday life. Whether it's a quiet walk in the park, a picnic near the river, or a trek through the woods, these moments when we allow ourselves to disengage from our daily tasks and immerse ourselves in nature provide us with a perfect stress-busting remedy. It is this magical harmonization of the usual hullaballoo of the world outside and the peace within that balances and centres us.
Steadying the Pace with Yoga
Yoga is not just a combination of physical postures - it's a way of life. Incorporating yoga into my morning routine has been one of the best decisions I've made. Ignore the images of people contorting their bodies in impossible ways- yoga is for everyone! About three years ago, I started with simple stretches, then moved on to deeper breathwork and finally to the practice of asanas (yoga postures). It's been a journey, and the difference it has made to my stress levels is astounding.
From my experience, yoga allows you to connect mind, body, and spirit, guiding you to a state of greater serenity. Each asana targets different parts of your physical being, which in turn are connected with various emotional and mental states. Physically stretching out the tension leaves you feeling lighter and happier. If you too would like to give yoga a shot, there are tons of YouTube videos for beginners, and quite a few Perth-based studios who introduce yoga in a gentle, accessible way.
Injecting Fun and Laughter into Each Day
Ever caught yourself laughing so hard that even in the midst of that laughter you can't help but think how ridiculous you must look at that moment? But guess what, you simply don't care! Why? Because laughter is the best stress buster there is. A life sprinkled with a generous dose of laughter is a life less stressed.
Even on my craziest days, as a parent, I make sure to infuse a healthy dose of laughter into our family routine. Whether it's watching funny cat videos with Tate and Keely or indulging in our weekly family game night full of goof-ups and belly laughs, we always aim to forget our woes and enjoy the moment. This, my friend, is the magic potion for life. I encourage you to give it a try. Simply laughing your heart out can give the stress-busting endorphins a much-needed kick, and before you know it, those grueling trips to Stressville may become refreshingly rare.
In the grand scheme of life, stress is less of an enemy to be defeated but more of an unwanted companion to be managed. Remember, every now and then, it's important to hit pause, to unwind, to introspect and to live a little. It's about finding your own peace amidst a world full of chaos. So, here's to mastering stress — breathe, meditate, connect with nature, stretch and laugh. Because in the end, life's too short for anything but smiling lines on our faces. Take it from me, Clarissa, the ups and downs of life may be plenty, but with each deep breath, with every laugh and every moment spent with myself, life seems just a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable. I hope these methods serve you as well as they have served me.