Have you been on the magic carpet ride this month? All the hectic Christmas and Hanukkah rituals are over for this year, and in the wake of all the festivities I'm reminded of what's really important in my life — my cherished relationships. Sometimes as I race from one activity to the next, I can forget to how to breathe deeply. How about you? Are you so focused on your daily commitments and busy schedules that you forget to breathe out fully? To let go? Did you know that the simple act of fully exhaling activates your parasympathetic nervous system to calm you? Did you know that the better you breathe, the less stressed you will be? And by the way, it may be interesting to know that foul smelling breathe can be an indicator of feeling stressed! It turns out two compounds in the breath 2-methyl pentadecane and indole go up with stress according to research coming out of Loughborough University and Imperial College, London (Thomas, 2013). This may be a season to chew gum.
Here's some quick ways to make sure you keep your stress level down:
- Breathe deeply. You might check your breathing style at every doorway.
- Drop your shoulders and release your hands. These are two tell-tale locations where people often hold stress in.
- Drink more water. With sufficient water intake, the stress hormone cortisol is flushed through your kidneys.
- Aromatherapy really does work. Rosemary is shown to reduce cortisol. Lavender improves your brain function, mood and is calming. Ylang-Ylang reduces stress. And lemon has been shown to possess an anti-depressant effect.
- Smile. The simple act of smiling has been shown over and over again to decrease stress and increase feelings of well being!
What will be your best de-stress remedies for 2014?
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