“I’m going home to watch some TV and de-stress!” How often have you heard this? But lying like a couch potato in front of the television doesn’t lower blood pressure at all.
The easiest way to de-stress is to do some deep breathing exercises.
They recommend around half an hour a day, but actually, even a few minutes help.
What a bargain! It doesn’t cost anything and we all do it anyway. Even better, we don’t need a special place or fancy equipment. In fact, if you catch a taxi, bus or train home, you can do it on the way and be all nice and relaxed and de-stressed by the time you get there.
There are several different methods of breathing to relax but the American Institute of Stress recommends a technique called the “Quieting Response”. It only takes 6 seconds to do and apparently it works like a bomb.
First, you smile inwardly, with your mouth and your eyes. We all know the benefits of smiling outwardly, but this is something different, it somehow makes you relax. (Go on; try it quickly while you are reading this.) Then they tell you to imagine holes in the soles of your feet. As you breathe in (a nice deep breath) you visualize hot air flowing up through your body to your lungs. You relax each part of your body as the hot air hits. Then you breathe it all out again, imagining it flowing down, down, down—back out through the holes in your soles!
Pretty darn easy, right? I’m going to try it next time I’m stressed. Kids get stressed too you know!
True story, often when we are stressed we tense up and it takes a concerted physical act to release that tension.
Did you know?
- If you opened up your lungs flat, they would cover an entire tennis court?
- In people, the left lung is smaller than the right lung. Why? So that there‘s space for your heart.
- The average person breathes around 27 litres of air a minute.
- Children laugh about 300 times a day whereas adults only laugh around 15 times. We’ve talked about laughing before – it releases all those good hormones.
- Last bit of useless information… when you sneeze, the air comes out of your body at around 16 km per hour!
Take time out to sniff the daisies people!