In the middle of a stressful day, or maybe even in the beginning or end of a stressful day, we can help ourselves with some very simple stress relievers. I recently had the pleasure of working with a group of elementary school teachers and demonstrated a few easy and quick stress relievers. As a result of that I am posting five short audio recordings that walk you through how to do each of these simple maneuvers.
- Taking Your Seat: As simple as this sounds, a correct and attentive posture matters. Remember, when you are doing a formal mindfulness practice you are training your mind to focus in a non-judgmental way. That focus is not just a mental activity, it is a full body activity. So sitting properly, relaxed but attentive, matters. I suspect that after listening to this recording one time you’ll not need to listen again. Here it is:
- Forehead and Sinus Massage: Take a few minutes to relax the muscles of your face and help your sinuses to flow a bit more evenly. You may even find yourself getting relief from a tension headache! Simple and quick:
- Neck Stretches Part 1: These simple stretches, done in a sitting posture, loosen up the neck muscles and are very refreshing:
- Neck Stretches Part 2: More of the same, involving the shoulders as well:
- Face Squint Tensing Relaxing: When we are holding muscles with great tension we activate the body’s stress system. Simple noticing tensed muscles and relaxing them intentionally can not only ease the body’s burden but actually slow down activity of mind, helping you to get better perspective on the issues of the day. This recording gives you guidance for tensing/relaxing facial muscles and the muscles of the hands and arms. But you can do this with any muscle group in your body:
- Body Relaxation Practice: This 7.5 minute exercise is a quick way to bring down your body’s stress and tension level. Very simple, and if you do it regularly you’ll find it an invaluable practice to do in a difficult moment:
You can do all of these activities in about 8 to 10 minutes! And if you do these regularly, you’ll even condition your body to relax quickly with just doing the barest of these exercises. If you would like to download any of these recordings please contact me at my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll connect you to my DropBox account for easy download. Enjoy!