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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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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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