We live in a fast-paced world. Most of us are constantly on the go; running around doing one thing after another, and never feeling like we’ve completed everything on our to-do list. The result?
Feeling unable to just be.
Do you have a tendency to get yourself tangled up in the idea that you ‘must do this’ and ‘must finish that’? Do you magnify the important tasks and allow this imagined pressure to send you into a panic?
Living in a constant state of urgency might seem productive — but it can become destructive for your health and well-being.
You’re not alone, though. We live in a non-stop digital age and it takes conscious effort to step outside of the expectation to buy into a culture in which being busy is valued above being happy.
Living a life constantly plugged in and on the go results in an accumulation of damaging stress and tension — physically, mentally and emotionally. And with no time to reflect, or to pay attention to our inner world, it’s easy to forget what it actually feels like to truly relax, rejuvenate, be still and enjoy life.
It doesn’t have to be this way! No really — it doesn’t.
Read on to learn about three simple and effective ways to live a more relaxed and present life. Include just one of these practices in your daily routine and you’ll soon be experiencing the benefits.
1. Natural Breath Awareness
Just 3 minutes of practice when you wake up in the morning before you get out of bed, will bring you right into the present moment.
Mastering natural breath awareness gives you a greater ability to control the breath. When you can notice, and then alter and direct your breath, you can employ this technique in any stressful or uncomfortable situation to change the function of your nervous system and feel calmer and steadier.
2. Abdominal Breath
Unlike chest breathing, abdominal breathing allows you to draw air deep into the lungs. Just like Natural Breath Awareness, 3 minutes of full abdominal breaths when you wake up will have positive repercussions throughout your day.
This takes relaxation to a whole new level, signalling to the nervous system that you are calm and not in danger. As a result, your parasympathetic nervous system takes the lead — it’s often known as the ‘rest or digest’ system.
So, abdominal breathing limits the effects of stress; it’s a tool for stepping out of a stressed mode which, in turn, will allow you to approach any situation more mindfully.
With practice, you can use abdominal breathing to calm the mind, get a handle on your emotions, and soothe mental tension.
It also optimises the performance of the respiratory and cardiac systems.
3. Chanting the Mantra Om
This study published by researchers at UCLA a few years ago showed that using a specific type of Mantra Meditation briefly each day reduced participants’ stress levels and induced deep relaxation.
Chanting the mantra Om for just 5 minutes a day can yield surprising benefits — from the calmness, peace, and purity it brings to the environment, to the tranquility it ignites within you.
Chanting Om reduces stress, improves your ability to concentrate and makes space for deep relaxation. And it gets you out of the head and into your heart.
Give it a Go!
Maintaining a healthy life balance in the hustle and bustle of this world can be difficult.
But it is important to take time for yourself and restore your body and mind by unplugging for a short time every day.
By doing so you will become more productive, more energetic, feel happier, and recognise opportunities for genuine quality time with your family and friends.