So it’s Friday afternoon and you’re worn out – again.
Your back is aching and your nerves are frazzled. You’ve had another week of interminable meetings where everyone has something to say (at great length) but no-one wants to make a decision; stroppy phone calls; preparing that report with the oh-so-imminent deadline; and the rest of the time you were hunched up at your desk, chained to your email inbox.
Yay, it’s Friday – it’s the weekend. But straight away the thought hits home: two days and then it’ll be Monday and it all starts over again, and again, and again…
You’re on a treadmill. You’re tired. You’re stressed. Your mind is constantly running away with all the things you need to do. You know something needs to change because you’re getting tension headaches and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by life.
You’re not alone
This feeling is sadly all too common in our culture. And the majority of people who come to my yoga classes and for 1-2-1s say they come because they want to relax; they need to unwind their tensed-up shoulders; they need solace from their busy day; their time on the mat is their much needed me-time.
I know first-hand: I’ve been there myself. That feeling of everything being too much; of not knowing where to start; of being so tense you’re almost holding your breath; the tightness in your shoulders; the knotted feeling of dread in your stomach when you get up in the morning…
Yoga helped me through it and I know it can help you.
You can take back control
First off, know that it doesn’t have to be this way.
You can take charge of your response to the stress factors your working day throws at you. You can do this with the simplest, and most powerful, tool you have at your disposal: your breath.
And if you add to this the power of your mind you have a wonderful way to take back control of the way you react to everyday challenges and your health and wellbeing.
Try this simple exercise
You can do this exercise at any time of day.
You can take 1 minute or 10. You can do it at your desk, stuck in your car on your commute, at home surrounded by candles and soft music, or in the middle of the night when you’re mulling over pesky work problems and your mind won’t switch off.
- Sit or lie comfortably. Lift your breastbone a little so you’re not slouching. Relax your shoulders and jaw.
- Breathe in and say to yourself a silent “let”
- Breathe out silently say “go”
It’s as simple as that. Repeat, repeat, and repeat again.
Do this as many times as you need until you feel the stress, anxiety or tension fading.
Say it like you mean it – let … go… If appropriate say it out loud!
Use your breath. Breathe in a sense of expansion, breathe out any tension. Breathe in relief, breathe out release.
Let… Go… Invite your shoulders to relax.
Let … Go… Feel your jaw unclench.
Let … Go… Allow your breath to calm your body and mind.
Know that you can cope
Whatever life throws at you, you can cope.
You can step back and connect to your breath to create a sense of space and ease and calm.
Affirm to yourself: “I let go of that which no longer serves me. I welcome calm and peace of mind ….”
Breathe, release, allow calm to wash through you.
And know that next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed that a breath and two little words can help you through it.