Since having my children home during the day isn't the norm, summertime can lend itself to being a bit stressful. Arguments over the computer and the t.v. Can we go here, there and everywhere? "I'm bored!" (My girls have told me they don't need to hear me say 'Only boring people are boring' one more time. I, of course, say 'Then stop telling me you're bored'. Round and round it goes.)
I've found these five methods from Chicago Healers Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee very helpful in getting me through my days. I hope they can help you too.
- Breathe – It may feel silly to remind oneself to breathe, but it is so important. There are two types of breathing: shallow and deep. Taking shallow chest breaths causes the body to operate in “fight or flight” mode, which is highly stressful. Less oxygen goes to the brain and the body continues to operate on high alert. It is important to take deep abdominal breaths, which stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This optimizes digestion, relaxation and detoxification while keeping hormones balanced.
- Gratitude – Remembering things to be grateful for throughout the day really does wonders for personal state of mind and for the body. Positive thinking releases chemicals that help with digestion, euphoria, relaxation and overall well-being.
- Laughter – Laughter is the best medicine as the saying goes, and this is often the case. Laughing for 10 minutes a day will do amazing things. It changes the physiology of the entire body—increases circulation, releases different “happy” chemicals in the body, reduces stress, keeps everyone in a lighter frame of mind, helps the heart and can even burn calories! It’s contagious, too!
- Sit in Silence – Taking 10-30 minutes to quiet the mind and clear thoughts can be so beneficial. If meditating is not preferable, spend the time visualizing goals for the day. This will put focus on personal needs, which will be relaxing later when the day starts to get stressful.
- Take a 15-20 Minute Walk Outside – Sometimes all that’s needed is fresh air and sunlight. Taking a step away from the computer, the phone, the office, etc. can really help clear thoughts and be very calming.
For more information, visit http://www.chicagohealers.com/.