In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s common to feel like you have too little time and a to-do list that stretches to the North Pole. Between holiday shopping, travel, parties and your usual busy life, it’s a lot.
It’s important to incorporate a few simple stress relief tactics.
One of those you’ve been doing all your life.
It might sound a little crazy, but (consciously) breathing is the quickest way you can soothe your nervous system. Best of all, it doesn’t require any special equipment or knowledge. Just the awareness that you can use your breath to help you feel relaxed.
Here’s How to Use Your Breath to Calm Yourself
When you’re upset, you breathe shallowly. This stimulates your body’s fight or flight response which triggers a chemical cascade in your body dumping adrenaline into your body. This is fine if you’re running a marathon or otherwise need that level of pure focus for a short period of time.
Yet, living in a stressed out mode is terrible for you both mentally and physically, it results in inflammation throughout your body, lack of concentration, moodiness and a host of other unpleasant things.
Breathing deeply will help you flip this response. One trick is to set reminders on your phone throughout the day to remind yourself to take a minute or two to slow your breath. Simply breathe in slowly and deeply, count to 10 and then breathe out to a count of 10. This simple act automatically soothes your parasympathetic nervous system which is the part of your body that relaxes you.
When you start using mindful breathing techniques, you can slow your racing heart and remind yourself of what matters.
3 Other Ways to Manage Your Stress
Yoga offers mental and physical benefits no matter your age or physical condition. There’s a type of yoga for everyone including Yin Yoga where you lay on the floor using props like blankets and yoga blocks to relax deeply. Yoga is proven to improve focus and concentration.
Chiropractic Treatments – As a chiropractor, I obviously believe in chiropractic treatments. My family has used it for generations (my father was also a chiropractor) to treat everything from back pain to headaches and yes, stress. Chiropractic treatments can also improve your immune system. It’s a simple process of realigning your body.
Massage – Massage therapy can rub away your muscle aches and pains. It can also improve your range of motion and generally help you feel better physically and mentally.
If you’re in the Doylestown area, we have a wonderful massage therapist on staff at McQuaite Chiropractic and I would love to offer you a chiropractic consultation to see how we can help you.
This holiday season, take a few moments to breathe and incorporate simple stress relief tactics into your day. It’ll help you feel better and enjoy the season.