We all want less stress, right?
Wouldn’t it be great to be completely free of worry? Not quite. It turns out that stress is actually good for us.
That might go against everything that you’ve ever heard about the subject. Usually, we think of stress as a toxic experience that breaks us down or distracts us from the goodness of life. But not all stress is bad.
We need good stress to keep healthy and grow stronger.
Bad Stress vs. Good Stress
Stress experienced repeatedly is chronic or bad stress. Bad stress has negative health consequences for our body, mind, and emotions when we have no relief from it. It can even reduce our lifespan.
Temporary or good stress is healthy for us. It causes us to feel exhilarated before we give a talk. It’s the hyper-aware state we experience in an emergency situation.
How we react can also either make the stress bad or good. If we think all stress is bad, research shows that it will be bad.
Yoga teaches us how to avoid unnecessary worry. Yoga also helps us to react positively to life’s negative stressors we can’t avoid. In these ways, yoga helps us feel more peace and calm in our lives.
How to feel calmer
There are several ways that we can reduce chronic stress and ultimately improve our responses to unavoidable stress.
- Practice Yoga – yoga helps calm our central nervous system.
- Meditate – many scientific studies show that meditation restores our energy.
- Breathe Deeply – research shows that yoga breathing can help us calm down after the flight or fight response is triggered.
- Eat Healthy – Junk food, processed foods and fatty meats overexcite our body and mind.
- Exercise – yoga postures, running, hiking, and other exercises can release endorphins that empower us to feel good.
- Stop the mind chatter – Try Ananda Yoga affirmations, chant, sing, or whistle.
- Don’t stress about stress – Worry and stress are normal human emotions, so don’t give yourself a hard time when you experience them
- Get enough sleep – Sleep is necessary to restore our body and mind.
3 Powerful yoga hacks for instant calm
Many of the strategies listed above are cumulative, the benefits growing after you use them for an extended period of time. But sometimes we need to find our center quickly, which is why we’ve listed 3 instant yoga hacks below.
- Back to Center Breath: Inhale deeply and slowly, keeping your shoulders down and relaxed. Pause. Exhale slowly, for twice as long as you inhale. Repeat until feeling centered.
- Gratitude Attitude: Sit comfortably and take a couple of relaxing breaths. With eyes open or closed think of everything you are grateful for. You can always think of something no matter how small. Once you start you will find more.
- Power Pose: Harvard Business school researchers discovered this one! Stand like Superwoman or Superman. Feet apart, hands on your hips, chest lifted and eyes looking straight ahead – like Superwoman. Hold this power position for 2 minutes. You will feel the difference!
Remember this: no one can take away your peace of mind. Except you. Having a regular yoga practice will help you have more calm in your life.
Which powerful hack for more calm in your life is your favorite?
Share in the comments below.