Anxiety is a primal human experience to anticipate and prepare for threats, which can serve as a good thing. However, too much anxiety can quickly turn into mental health issues and can disrupt your daily life, relationships, work, and more. Anxiety can feel different for everyone, luckily, there are some very effective and scientifically proven ways to help us become more grounded, balanced, and in tune with our bodies. Here are 5 Grounding Techniques you can utilize to self-regulate when life is feeling out of place:
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I still remember the first time I took a yoga class. It was February 2007, and my husband had presented me with a gift certificate for classes at a local studio. He had hoped that yoga would release my anxiety over being a new mom and alleviate the constant state of stress that overwhelmed me with every breath. I, too, was excited to try this new way of exercising. My daily workouts had left me feeling physically strong, so I had myself convinced that I would be “great” at yoga. Little did I know that my ego would be knocked down on its knees as soon as I stepped on the mat!
As I huffed and puffed through the poses in that first class, I struggled to understand the foreign guidance to “allow your breath to guide the movement of your body.” Finally, after much shaking and panting to force my hunched over body into triangle pose, the teacher approached me and gently asked, “Where are you trying to get into? Please come down into child’s pose and breathe.” Reluctantly, I listened. As soon as I followed her instructions, I was hit by a wave of peace and a softening in my mind. “What?!” I remember thinking. “I can rest? I’m receiving permission to rest, relax, and breathe?” In that moment, I knew the practice of yoga was going to change my life.
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Stress is a natural reaction as a response for our bodies to protect us from threats. The sympathetic and parasympathetic system work together to create the fight-or-flight reaction. Hormones are released to make your heart beat faster, blood vessels constrict, and digestion slows so your body can react quickly. When you’re in danger, your mind and body take over to do what it has to protect itself. Once you’re out of danger, your body goes back to its normal state. The longer stress lasts, the worse it can become for your mind and your body, and then it is considered chronic. Chronic stress can create disease and many other issues that can stop you from living the full life you deserve.
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One of the best things you can do for your mind and body each morning is stretch. During sleep, the body spends hours rejuvenating at a cellular level and by morning lengthening the muscles and filling the lungs with fresh, clean air will do wonders for setting up your day. Here are three yoga poses that will support your organs, open the hips, loosen the neck, release tension from the shoulders, and align all seven chakras (energy centers). Start with taking five slow, deep belly breaths and work your way up ten or more. Click here to learn the Ujaii breathing technique and apply it to the following poses.
Self-care is a modern concept that has permeated our culture and intrigued people in many different fields.
What does self-care really mean? According to this article from the University of Kentucky, it includes a regulatory process by which we approach the normal daily functions of our lives. These functions include, but are not limited to, eating, sleeping, exercise, medical care, relaxation or meditation, and journaling. People that are known to exude excellent forms of self-care seem to all have one main thing in common: They do normal things in extraordinary ways. For example, a form of self-care for someone who wants to exercise and move their body may be to hire a coach and train for a marathon. It might also look like combining creative activities into a fitness regimen, such as doing yoga or aerial arts. Another way in which people can practice self-care is by making a certain length of sleep a non-negotiable priority. For the average American, sleep can be a hard thing to come by. According to this article from Entrepreneur.com the most successful entrepreneurs start their days early and have developed a sleep routine that is natural, and consistent. Self-care permeates through every action that we take during our waking and sleeping hours.