For many of us, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day. But this does little to reduce the damaging effects of stress. To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. Here are some quick meditations that you can do right at your desk at any point throughout the day when you’re feeling stressed or just need to power up your productivity. These are super-easy to do, but if you do them regularly, you’ll notice a HUGE improvement in how you feel while you work!
Take a few minutes now to find a quiet spot and get comfortable.
Breathe to relax yourself:
One of the most common symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack is restlessness, which eventually leads to shortness of breath. You may want to sit down, and calm yourself down, by some easy breathing exercises such as- careful inhaling and exhaling or deep breaths. This helps relax your muscles and release that uneasy feeling. Close your eyes and take slow deep breathes.
IMPORTANT TIP: Breathe through your stomach and not your chest. Inhale and slowly exhale.
BONUS TIP: Confused if you are doing it right? Place your hand on your chest to know if you are breathing through your stomach or chest.
Close your eyes and think of your happy moments:
Now this may sound like practicing the ‘Patronus charm’ and luckily, it is the same! While there may be no wand, but this is really magical. All you need to do is close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing and remember your strengths, which lie in all the happy and powerful memories you hold. Lose yourself in a place that is serene, peaceful and fills you with life.
IMPORTANT TIP: It is important to not stress yourself or try really hard to remember your happy moments, as long as you are able to concentrate on your breathing, you are doing this perfectly.
BONUS TIP: I am sure you know the power of meditation. Sit down or stand still and meditate for a minute.
You may not be a big fan of yoga or someone who believes in such healing, but wait until you try these two easy ‘asanas’ to calm your anxiety attack:
- Breathing through alternate nostrils: Place your right thumb on your right nostril to close it in such a way that you can easily breathe through your left nostril. Now, inhale easily and move your right index finger to close your left nostril and simultaneously release your thumb to exhale from the right nostril. Practice this for 5 minutes to ease your breathing and overcome your short breaths.
- Stretch your arms and toes: While seated on a bench or chair, with your hand in the air, bend down while you slowly inhale and come up while you slowly exhale. After some sets, bend over to the right side with similar inhale and exhale procedure and repeat with the left side.
IMPORTANT TIP: Go slow with the ‘aasanaas’ and do not hurry.
BONUS TIP: Drink some water before practicing them. This can help increase oxygen levels in your body and brain, thereby helping you release tension from your muscles.
These exercises can provide you relief for that moment, or help you sail through your anxiety attack for the day, but if you experience them frequently or notice severe unusual behavior, visit your nearest doctor for medical assistance. Anxiety or panic attacks can be fatal too, hence it is important that you meet your doctor to examine the severity of your attack and seek medical help, if required.
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