In such a fast-paced world, we often struggle with wanting to slow down and smell the flowers while feeling pressured to get ahead of the pack. All of the hustle and bustle of everyday life can leave us feeling stressed out and disconnected, and we can end up losing track of what is important in our lives. When you find your head spinning from the endless rat race of life, how do you handle stress?
With stacks of to-do lists and deadlines to beat, it’s healthy to allow yourself some head space in order to refocus. Yoga teaches one to slow down by giving us a sense of direction, as if watching a scene in slow motion, which can give us a stronger perspective on life. While it may be hard to step on the brakes, it is essential to slow down so you can breathe, let go, and regain a positive mindset.
Check out these 4 tips to take the time to slow down:
1. Breathe deeply
Slow and deep breathing is one of the skills you learn from yoga. Yoga breathing helps you block external noise and focus on your feelings and what your body needs. When doing yoga poses, it is important to breathe properly to ease your muscles and gain more flexibility when stretching. Breathe your way out of the discomfort and distribute your weight so you feel less strained. Inhaling allows more space inside your body while exhaling helps your body release tension and stress.
Breathing helps you clear your mind and reconnect with yourself, which aids in reducing stress and anxiety. Don’t hold in air – it’s like holding in the tension – just exhale and let it out. You’ll feel better if you know how to inhale and exhale your way through yoga and a better life.
Learn how to focus your mind, rather than letting it wander into distraction. Yoga and meditation allow your mind to ease from a high frequency state to a lower frequency state that can relax and calm your senses. You should be able to shift from the Gamma and Beta states, also called the “hyperactive” and “working” state of mind, to the Theta state, also called the “meditative” or “visualization” state of mind.
Transitioning from a busy state of mind to the calmness state is achieved by doing meditation every day, such as in the morning before you head out to work or school. Consistency is the key to achieving a mind and body connection.
3. Assess your lifestyle
Yes, a bit of “healthy” stress can encourage optimal performance, but slowing down every now and then is key to controlling the level of stress experienced. Society dictates a bias towards being in an action mode all the time, but it is important to remind yourself what you are being busy for. The art of slowing down is also about looking into our actions, motives, and behavior, and to re-assess what is necessary and what can be let go of.
4. Take time off for yourself
Lao Tzu said of yoga, “It is wisdom to know others; it is enlightenment to know oneself.” Connect to your inner self and take some time off alone doing the things you love to do, and not just what you are paid or required to do. Slowing down your pace to get to know yourself a little bit more may be well worth it. You should be able to see yourself from your own perspective and not just from the way other people see you. More so, knowing yourself is all about accepting your flaws just as much as it is about taking pride in your best qualities.
Yoga allows you to open up to life. We need not spread ourselves thinly in order to accomplish more. It is important for your mind to get enough rest or sleep, and slowing down can help you refocus and realign, to get rid of the negative and retain good thoughts. Allowing yourself to reach a calm and positive state can influence your attitude and performance every single day.
What do you do to reconnect with yourself? What are your calming practices?
There, she spends her days meeting creative people and devising ways to further innovate in the health and wellness industry.
She also teaches yoga and coaches people to be their greatest selves.