Author: Kristen Kennedy Smith
Managing stress, especially now, can be tough. We may notice that we are on edge without even knowing why. Over time, our bodies react physically the our mindset and mental state. When we are under pressure, stress, or anxiety for long periods of time this begins to show up in our physical bodies. This can look like tense muscles, shallow breathing, poor digestion, or even headaches and physical ailments.
I want to share with you 3 steps that you can do right now to manage your stress.
1. Try alternate nostril breathing
2. Take a break with a child's pose
3. Step into the present by noticing your 5 senses
These are techniques that will require no additional equipment, supplies, or tools.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is an ancient technique which is steeped in Ayurveda and Yogic tradition. Directing the breath, or Prana, across the brain helps to reset the central nervous system and relax the mind. When you breathe in through one side and exhale through the opposite side you may realize that your thoughts dissipate and you begin to step into the present moment. I like to relate this to the difference between having several tabs open in your mind versus having just one window open at a time.
To perform alternate nostril breathing simply place your thumb on your right nostril, inhale through your left nostril, hold the breath, place your ring finger on your left nostril, and exhale through the right nostril. Then you simply repeat the process by inhaling through the right nostril, holding the breath, placing your ring finger on your right nostril, and exhaling through the left nostril. To help you out, I created a short video to show you what I mean below.
This pose helps release stress and anxiety by creating a rooting, calming effect on the central nervous system. It also helps with digestion and is a wonderful way to stretch out the shoulders and hips. You can practice this pose from the floor, from a chair, or while you are in bed to make the pose accessible for you and your body type, joints, and goals. To enter into this pose from the floor you will follow this process:
I created some modification examples for you with the images below.
Notice Your 5 Senses
Finally, you can step into your five senses to relieve stress in the moment. This is something that you can do at work without looking silly or drawing attention. You can start by noticing 3 things that you see, then 3 things that you hear, 3 things that you can feel, 3 things you can taste, and 3 things you can smell. The final two may be more difficult, the process of really noticing what is around you in the present moment will help you shift the way you see things and will change your energy in real time. You will be in the present instead of feeling the emotions of the past or anxiety about the future. This is a technique you can come back to as often as you'd like throughout your day.
Interested in learning more tips and tricks? Check out my Old Souls Align Membership where I share exclusive content to help empower others to shift their mindset, their lifestyle, and the way they show up in the world with practical, actionable, and affirming resources and skills.
Blog Author: Kristen Kennedy Smith
What if I told you simple routines and habits can improve your digestion without even changing what you are eating? Would you try it?
As an Ayurvedic Wellness coach, I help busy people find practical solutions for their health and stress management.
It is my mission to improve your daily life with suggestions for routines and habits that can make a MASSIVE difference in how you feel and with how much energy you have throughout the day.
I am here today to share 5 ways you can improve your digestion RIGHT NOW without even changing the food you eat.
#1: Drink Room Temperature or Warm Beverages
In Ayurveda, we think about digestion like a camp fire. We call this digestive fire "Agni" in sanskrit. When you have a fire and you toss ice or cold water on it, what happens? It distinguishes the flame. The same thing happens when you consume frozen or cold foods and beverages. Reducing or eliminating frozen or cold beverages will give your stomach a chance to stay warm, which will help you digest your food.
#2: Eat your largest meal at lunch
Just as the digestion is fueled by fire, it is best to eat your largest meal when the sun is highest in the sky. This will help you remember to eat the most food between 10am-2pm. This is when the digestion is the strongest and you will have the most time to process and utilize the energy you receive from eating a large meal. Eating a smaller meal at night will help you process the food so that you can digest before going to sleep.
#3: Consume meat, poultry, & fish at lunch
Because the digestion is strongest during lunch time, it is easier to digest meat and fish during this meal, as well! Meat takes about 24 hours or so to digest. Eating this midday will help your body process the food more effectively so that your body is not working extra hard right before bed.
#4: Don't skip breakfast
I know, I know...intermittent fasting is tempting. HOWEVER, the best way to kick start your digestion is coff....just kidding...breakfast! Drink some warm water first thing in the morning and then try to eat breakfast before starting your work day. This will help you start the day off right and will provide energy to do all of the things.
#5: Wait 3 hours after eating to have a snack
Snacks are the best. They're exciting, fun, and tasty! Do you want to digest your snack so that it leaves you feeling energized instead of sluggish? Wait 3 hours after eating your breakfast or lunch. This will give your body a chance to fully process your last meal so that you can easily process the new food entering your belly.
I hope that these tips and tricks will help you out and make you feel better throughout your day!
If you would like to dive deeper and receive some individual help with digestion or wellness routines let's chat!
I am now offering Ayurvedic Wellness Coaching micro sessions. Let's dive into 2021 with a fresh perspective on health and wellness!
Click the button below to book your micro-session now.
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