De-Stress. Try this breathing exercise
- Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
- Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
- Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
If you find it difficult breathing from your abdomen while sitting up, try lying on the floor. Put a small book on your stomach, and try to breathe so that the book rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale.
Lace your fingers together and raise your hands above your head, palms facing upward. Elongate your spine and feel the stretch in your ribcage and arms. Hold for a count of 10, and then incorporate a side stretch into the sequence to target your torso, leaning to one side and holding for ten, and then repeating on the other side.
To stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck, turn your left ear over to your left shoulder and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side to stretch out your left side. Relax for a moment and then roll your shoulders to the back, and then to the front. Then lift them up to your ears, tensing the muscles, and allow them to drop completely. Repeat this entire sequence three times.
A spinal is a great way to relieve stress in your lower back. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds on each side and don’t be alarmed if you hear some “cracks” in your spine when you twist into the pose. Don’t force anything here; just feel your spinal column wringing itself out.
Reach your hands up over head and then exhale to come into a forward bend. Make fists and rest them in your opposite elbow. With a slight bend in your knees hang out upside down for a bit as you feel the whole back of your body loosen. Hold at least 30 seconds before inhaling and rising.
Choose actions that benefit more than just yourself: Sweep a neighbor’s front steps, get someone a cup of tea, cook lunch for you and a friend, take out someone’s garbage, do someone else’s dishes, call someone and tell them they’re great. What could you do today to put a smile on someone else’s face? Inspire someone else. Check out The Postcard Project and send a postcard to someone you know that could use a few kind words.