Sometimes our days get so crazy we forget to take a minute to breathe! But we must–it’s the only way to decompress before getting too carried away. Fortunately, there are many ways both physically and spiritually that we can do this.
All of these methods for calming down can be done in under a minute.
1. Catch your Breath
Close your eyes and inhale for 3 seconds from deep within your diaphragm, then exhale for 3 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
2. Pectoral Door Stretch
Place your elbow and forearm on the edge of an open door frame. Make sure the elbow placement is just shy of shoulder height and stretch the chest forward. Hold for 3-5 seconds and repeat the movement three times with both arms.
3. Focus Breaths
Focus on something you want to happen or feel — even if you don’t deeply feel it yet. For example “today I am beautiful” or “I am going to rock this interview.” Close your eyes, take a breath and say the words. It will penetrate.
4. Posture Break
Sit up tall, focus on your scapulae (shoulder blades) try to get them to touch each other and then shift them down as far as you can, hold for 5 seconds, relax and repeat.
5. Wall Angel Exercise
Sit down on the floor against a wall. Lean your back flat against the wall, put your arms straight down by your side then raise your arms up, as if you were making a “T.” You can come up further only if you can maintain a flat back against the wall.
6. Relax Break
Lay flat on the floor with your knees bent, inhale deeply and allow your body to relax into the floor.
7. Muscle Tension Release
To relieve tension, lightly roll or hold a tennis ball where you feel tightness in your muscles (not on a bone or tendon) for 5 seconds. This works really well to release tension in the shoulders.
8. Releasing Tension Headaches
For tension headaches try to focus on your jaw. Focus on unclenching your teeth and allow the jaw to relax. It is so important for people with headaches to just gain awareness of jaw tension. Also placing a “boo-boo pack” (a child-sized gel ice pack) along the jaw can help relieve some of the pain.
9. Take a Little Walk
Get up off your chair and walk around the desk. Take a quick but deliberate walk to the water cooler and drink a sip of water. This will help increase circulation and get your body moving more during the day. It can be calming to break up the tension that can come from sitting in one place especially since we spend so much time in front of screens!
10. Music Break
Play 30 seconds of music and move. Try to just let go completely if you have a private space to do so! This will put you in a great mood and help keep you moving throughout the day.