Reduce Your Stress In Just 2 Minutes
You’re settling into the new year nicely, except going back to work meant dealing with the pile that you said you’d “leave until next year”. Then here comes all this extra work from your boss, plus something goes wrong in your personal life and all of a sudden Christmas feels like it was six months ago and you’re up to your eyeballs in stress. Sound familiar?
The reality is we all experience stress. In fact, it was reported by Medibank in January 2019 that “1 in 4 Australians over 18 are affected by stress”, a figure that has significantly increased in the past decade.
Stress can cause many negative effects on the body such as depression, anxiety, headaches, weight gain, digestive stress, immune problems, low energy and loss of sex drive to name a few.
So, what does stress do to the body?
Your sympathetic nervous system switches on when you start to feel stressed. This is your fight or flight mode.
When you are in this state your body shuts down and experiences the issues noted above. The level of stress doesn’t really matter, because your body can’t differentiate between physical and emotional stress. This means your body DOES NOT know the difference between you being yelled at by your boss or being chased by a lion. If you tend to frequently feel stressed out, your body may be existing in this heightened state of stressed and could lead to the negative effects mentioned above.
So how do you get out of fight or flight and turn on the rest and digest system, aka the parasympathetic nervous system?
Yes, it’s simple.
This technique is called the 5-5-7 breath. Inhale for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds, and exhale for 7 seconds. Do this for 10 rounds (or approximately 2 minutes).
The beauty is you can do this anywhere – meditating, at your desk, in the car, etc.
So next time you’re feeling like you have a million things to do and can’t catch up, try this out. Watch yourself slow down and adjust to the speed of life. Notice your heart rate decrease and your energy shift. Now you can move on with your day, coming from a place of calm and clarity.