Do you have a spare 5, 10 or 15 minutes today? What are you doing whilst the kettle is boiling? Can you grab 15 minutes of privacy? Whilst the dinner is in the oven can you take 10 minutes 'me time'? You don't always have to dedicate 1 hour to your daily practice, a short 5 minutes a few times a day can also be an effective stress reducer. Help reduce your stress levels with a mini Tai Chi, Qigong and meditation practice.
Practice your Tai Chi form or Qigong routine with a focus on slowing down the movements in a relaxed flow. This will help to relax your body and mind; kick-starting the body's natural relaxation response, called the parasympathetic system. This helps to increase blood flow and oxygen levels, and softens a fried central nervous system by sending signals to your body to return to a neutral, calm and relaxed state of being.
Deep belly breathing, often called abdominal breathing will slow down your heart rate, activate the natural relaxation response, increase oxygen levels and massage your organs for nourishment. The relaxation breath is when you breathe deeply into the whole span of both lungs, with the ribs and abdomen expanding on the inhale, and then relaxing on the exhale.
RELEASE MENTAL TENSION
Meditate in a lying down, sitting or standing posture. Close your eyes, mouth and teeth gently, then start to breathe slower and deeper than you normally do. Imagine all of your muscles and soft tissue relaxing, releasing and letting go. Use both your left brain (action) and right brain (imagination) to truly relax the whole body. Keep re-focusing the min on releasing, relaxing and relaxing more, especially if the minds and thoughts wander. It's a lot more difficult than you think!