You know, it's kind funny when you stop to think about it. We all live on the same planet, but none of us experience it in the same way. The same sunshine that warms my face here in sunny Sydney may be simply a happy memory in colder regions. We may all breathe the same air, but how consciously do we do it? My journey into the world of relaxation started interestingly, all due to a trivial argument over who will do the dishes. Typical, right? But it got me understanding the power that simple conscious breathing holds.
Breathing, when done correctly, promotes relaxation and tranquility, reducing stress, fear, and anxiety. Ever noticed how you breathe when you're scared or anxious? It’s different from when you’re calm, right? So, take a minute and just breathe— in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe deeply into your belly, allowing it to rise and fall with each breath. This process is called diaphragmatic breathing. It has a calming effect and can also increase your consciousness levels. It's like a secret weapon in our everyday lifestyle tool-kit that often goes unnoticed.
Picture this: I'm in the midst of a chaos, running errands left and right, when Susie, one of my best mates from college, calls me up to join her for a yoga class. Now, as a busy bee, yoga wasn't really on top of my list. But the universe had other plans. My journey with yoga and Pilates started that day, and my life has not been the same since.
The beauty of Yoga and Pilates is they are not just about physical exertion. They're powerful tools to bring your body, mind, and spirit in sync. Incorporating yoga and Pilates into your everyday routine can elevate your mood, minimize stress, boost self-confidence, and improve your overall physical health. Evidence has shown that regular practice of Yoga and Pilates brings about a greater sense of peace, locus of control, and a deeper appreciation for life. Plus, you can do them from the comfort of your living room thanks to the many online classes available! A little tip from me – use a cozy yoga mat, it makes all the difference.
If someone had told me a few years ago that I could find calm and peace in the chaos of my everyday life through mindfulness meditation, I would have probably burst out laughing. How is sitting alone in silence doing nothing going to calm my mind? Well, it was when I heard about mindfulness at a local community event that my perception changed. I tried it out, and voila, relaxation wrapped in a neat little package!
Mindfulness meditation encourages us to slow down, become more present, and focus on the now. Not the past, not the future, but the exact moment you are living. We often get consumed by countless thoughts, especially negative ones that keep us on edge. Practicing mindfulness helps us manage these thoughts without being ruled by them, leading to a less stressful, more enjoyable life. It's like having a mental spring clean. A hot tip- add a dash of your favourite scent to the atmosphere, anything from lavender essential oil to scented candles. The aroma indulges your senses, enhancing the overall experience.
Being a professional women's choir member in my younger years, I always had an affinity for music. But the idea that beats, rhythm and melody could induce a state of relaxation was a revelation. Some may call it coincidence, I prefer to call it fate that I stumbled upon an article about the therapeutic effects of music. Today, I can hardly imagine a world without this profound discovery!
Music, especially with a slow tempo and without lyrics, can have a significant calming effect on our brains and bodies. It accomplishes this by slowing down the heart rate and pulse, reducing stress hormones, and lowering blood pressure. Plus, it has a unique link to our emotions, soul, and mood. Music is a universal language that can connect people from all over the world. It's an easy and enjoyable method of relaxation that you can incorporate into your routine. Listening to calming music before sleep or during a brief pause in the day can do wonders for your mental health. But remember, everyone's choice of music is different, and what works for one may not work for another. It's all about finding the right fit for you.
Living in Sydney, I am blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, from the surrounding beaches to the vast array of green spaces. I've always loved being outdoors, but it wasn't until a family weekend camping trip that I experienced the therapeutic power that nature holds. And boy, what a revelation that was!
Stepping outside, taking a walk in the park, hiking, basking in the warm beach sun, even gardening, can all promote relaxation. Being in natural surroundings not only reduces anger and fear, but also relieves stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature contributes to your physical wellbeing by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. To add to that, a healthy dose of Vitamin D from the sun is always a win! So, tip from a nature-lover to you, embrace the green areas around you, take a moment to feel, hear, and smell the essence of nature and let it work its calming magic on you.