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5 Do-Anywhere Yoga Hacks to Calm the Anxious You

5 Do-Anywhere Yoga Hacks to Calm the Anxious You

Anxiety is the base of stress, tension, and discomfort. It is also a silent killer. Don’t fall prey to hypertension and elevated blood pressure, along with susceptibility to heart diseases and lifestyle disorders. Enrich your yoga practice using these stress-relieving exercises to calm your senses and soothe your nerves. Anxiety can be overpowering and modern life is full of challenges. Yoga can help you to overcome these.

Yoga can help with the physical stress and tension of a heavy workday. Mental stress and creative blocks can surface in the workplace or the social gathering you attend. Stress and tension can lower energy levels and lessen physical aches and pains. It can even lower insomnia and relieve sleeplessness. Yoga hacks can dispel tension in seconds.

Here are 5 Do-Anywhere Yoga Hacks for a peaceful mind and a de-stressed body.

1. Pranayama in Lotus Pose

How you are feeling: Tense, anxious, and uptight with the feeling of stress building up.

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Yoga hack: Engage in the ancient art of pranayama or meditation in the Lotus position. This is an easy and simple pose which you can easily perform under the cover of an office desk or in a quiet corner by yourself. You need to locate a comfortable chair or opt for a flat surface. Your back should be supported and upright while you can close your eyes to concentrate better. Let your facial muscles relax and release the tension in your jaw and abdomen. Then, fold your legs in Lotus pose and breathing deeply, start counting. Inhale for 7 counts, hold the breath for 3 counts and then release your breath in 7 more counts. While you complete each cycle of the breath, try to prevent thoughts from building up in your mind. Let each thought come and go without your reacting to any of it. Keep the spine straight and at a right angle to the ground while performing this asana.

How it Works: Padmasana is one of the most basic and subtle poses of the ancient art of Yoga. Calm your nervous system and ease the tension by letting your body breathe out toxins as you align yourself using the Lotus pose.

2. Calm Yourself With the Child’s Pose/Balasana

How You Feel: You lack the ability to focus or concentrate well and are easily distracted.

Yoga Hack: Opt for the Balasana anywhere you go without being noticed by using your chair as a prop. There should be a comfort factor here as you need to reach out the arms ahead of you on a flat surface. So, sit facing your desk, and ensure that you are seated more towards the edge of the chair so that when you bend forward your tailbone gets enough space to stretch out. Ensure that the forehead presses the floor of the desk and the arms are placed against your sides next to the ears. Close your eyes to concentrate better, with your mind focused on the spot between your eyes. You need to close your eyes to focus on the Third Eye and ensure that your attention remains focused here.

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How This Helps: The Balasana helps to restore and rejuvenate the body enabling the mind to slow down. Adding pressure to the forehead improves vision and perspective, permitting you to rise from this posture with clarity and focus.

3. Combat Stress With the Seated Chair Twist

How You Feel: If you are feeling anxious and tense, with thoughts crowding your mind and pent up tension from tasks undone, you can try the reclined twist in the comfort of your workstation or social event to get instant relief from stress.

Yoga Hack: You can do this easily anywhere. All you need is a chair. The gentle twists of the asana beats stress and anxiety-inducing thoughts. Start by being seated in your chair, legs together, gaze in front. Next, turn your head towards the right while turning your upper body to the left. If your chairs come with arms you can hold them for support. Maintain this pose for 5 short counts. Come back to initial position, take another five counts and do the same for the other side for the same amount of time. This pose helps to release tensions in the back and shoulders. It also helps to counter distracting thoughts.

How This Helps: This pose helps to relax tension that may have crept up the lower back and shoulders, helping to quiet the mind.

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4. Relieve Stress With Kapalbhati

How You Feel: If you are feeling low levels of motivation and high levels of fatigue, this yogic breathing exercise can work wonders for you.

Yoga Hack: Find a comfortable seat for this yogic breathing practice. You need to just assume a comfortable seated position and raise your arms above your head. Then inhale in a way that adds to the comfort of the body and pump out short breaths. Breath out in a sharp and vigorous way to eliminate toxins. The inhalation takes place naturally and you need to count up to as many breaths as you can without feeling lightheaded. Slow your breath towards the conclusion of this exercise.

How This Helps: This exercise oxygenates the human body and enhances digestion and circulation as well. Rejuvenate tired cells and feel a sense of revitalization after practicing this exercise.

5. Fight Anxiety With the Mountain Post

How You Feel: Anxiety can strike at any time and you have to find ways to combat it. Use this Mountain Pose to find a subtle and easy way to counter it.

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Yoga Hack: You can either do this seated or standing, whichever feels comfortable. Rather than just standing by and tolerating the stress, stand in yoga asana called the Mountain Pose. If you are standing, start with your feet hips width apart, shift weight back onto the soles of your feet and rest so that each corner of the foot is placed in contact with the ground. Feet should be planted so you don’t move despite a push or shove. Now bend your knees and stack bone atop bone. Puff up the chest and tuck your chin at a slight angle. Draw legs upward and maintain tension in your hips. The largest muscles in the legs should be able to take the weight off your joints (and your mind). If seated, you still do the same, except that your feet are together.

How This Helps: Feel energized, symmetrical and aligned through this pose. It clears the mind and chases away anxious thoughts and feelings.

Besides these tips and advice, you must remember to sleep well and have a good diet. There are many companies that offer special furniture (like bunk beds) for better sleep; avoid all those energizing beverages and junk food; your body will definitely start feeling better and more relaxed.

These yoga asanas are perfect for relieving stress and anxiety. Let go of harmful emotions such as fear and anger so that you can feel your sense of balance and peace all around you. Use these yoga hacks to combat worries, and tension levels and work towards relaxing the body and healing the mind.

Featured photo credit: himalayanyogainstitute via himalayanyogainstitute.com

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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