3 simple ways to feel calm when you're stressed
Updated: Apr 23
Are you juggling housework and a crying baby? Trying to get your child to go back to sleep at 2am? Dealing with a toddler tantrum? Looking for the nearest toilet while being out with your child who is in the middle of toilet training? Hoping to convince your pre-schooler to get ready because you‘ll be late for work if you don’t leave in the next 5 minutes?
I get you. Being mum is rewarding but stressful. You soon realise you can’t control your child's behaviour - they have a mind of their own!! I work with stressed mums daily so I can tell you you’re definitely not alone if you're wondering why you're so stressed out. Stress is said to be the cause of many illnesses and can influence and aggravate your existing health condition. It’s more important than ever before to have ongoing strategies or coping mechanisms so that you can manage your stress level. I’m grateful for having a number of yogic tools under my belt to cope with the daily stress of motherhood. Here are my top 3 tips to manage your stress so that you can feel calm in less than 5 minutes!
1.Control your breath (known as pranayama)
Breath is such a powerful indicator of our current emotional state. And ancient yogis knew how the practice of breath control affects the state of our minds, bodies & hearts. By consciously taking control of our breath and changing the pattern of our breathing, we can positively influence our parasympathetic nervous system, known as the rest and digest system. There are many different kinds of breath control practice known to yogis but equal breathing practice is perhaps the most simple practice of all. It is the practice of making inhalation and exhalation at equal length. You can start with 4 count inhale and 4 count exhale - making your breath nice and even. This is such a simple yet very powerful practice that only takes a few minutes. Try it out for yourself and see how you feel afterwards!
2. Take time for conscious relaxation (known as savasana)
Would you agree that the best part of the yoga class is the final relaxation practice when we lie down on our back for conscious resting? Before I started doing yoga over 12 years ago, I don’t think I had known how to really relax. I remember how calm and relaxed I felt in my body, mind and heart and this sense of inner peace I experienced was something that kept bringing me back to my yoga mat. Lying down on your back, stretching your legs and arms and just relax might not be as easy as it sounds for some people. Many people find it difficult to find stillness and cannot stop fidgeting. Some others just end up falling asleep. That’s why a guided relaxation practice might be the best option for many of you. You want to stay awake and alert during the practice and observe how the whole body drops into the state of deep rest.
3. Practise yoga
When we feel emotional stress, we feel it in our body. We start building physical tension and that could potentially turn into chronic pain. Practising yoga poses is one of the easiest ways for many people to feel relaxed in their bodies so they can feel relaxed in their minds and hearts too. Yin yoga is a great way to relieve physical tension by holding each floor-based poses for a few minutes. Yang yoga is an active style of yoga to build strength in the area where you're feeling weak so you can support other parts of your body. Going to a studio and attending 1 hour yoga class isn't the only way to practise yoga! Even doing one or two poses at home can change your mood. Yoga helps you feel into your body and this helps you to remain in the present moment.
If you want to have a taste of all of the above practices I discussed above, I invite you to come and join me for this special online class. It's a 30-minute express yoga class where we explore breath control practice, yin yoga & yang yoga and relaxation practice. You can join me from the comfort of your own home. Find out more by clicking the link below. (You can also find class details under booking page of my website)
Online yoga with Chika
Wednesday 28th April 2021
1:30-2pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (Sydney time)
Chika is the founder of Wa Yoga (Wa is a Japanese word meaning harmony). She is a Yoga Australia registered teacher, student of yoga for 12 years, teaching yoga & mindfulness for the last 6 years and mum to a 4-year old daughter. She specialises in offering online courses and memberships for mothers of young children and young families. She has a gentle approach to teaching yoga and her classes are always infused with mindfulness, reminding people to slow down and come back to the present moment. Her mission is to inspire and motivate other mums to start incorporating yoga, Ayurveda & mindfulness into their daily self-care ritual.