Try a mindfulness-based stress reduction technique to your mind become aware of your body’s relationship.

Try a mindfulness-based stress reduction technique to your mind become aware of your body’s relationship.

Are you feeling stressed or anxious? Do you feel tightness in your body? In your back? Or face? Maybe in your arms? Oftentimes stress can manifest itself as physical tension in our bodies. Let’s relieve that tension.

This exercise utilizes a mindfulness-based stress reduction technique to help the mind become aware of our body’s relationship to the spaces around us. Let’s take our minds for a nice walk.

Start by becoming aware of your own body. Feel the weight of your body against the ground; feel the contact your feet make with the ground. Notice the pressure, the vibrations, and the warmth of the ground. Take a few deep breaths. As you breathe in, feel all the new air you are bringing into the body. Then, exhale softly.

admiration

 

Let’s take some time to practice mindfulness

Now focus on the feeling of your legs against the chair. Focus on the pressure and areas of your leg in contact with the chair. Notice your back on the chair. Notice the tension in your back. Take a deep breath and become aware of this area as you exhale, noticing any changes to your muscle tension. Let your shoulders go soft. Let your arms go light. Bring your attention to your hands, and loosen them if they feel tight and tense. Now think of your facial muscles. Be mindful of any tension you are carrying in your forehead or your jaw. Take another deep breath in and let these areas soften as you breathe out. Repeat this until you can feel them loosen.

Now notice your entire body. Notice how loose and relaxed it feels. Hold it there and let your mind wander for 2 minutes. If you begin to tense once more, stay mindful of this tension and identify where it is happening. Then, take another deep breath and loosen it. When you are ready, slowly stand up, refocus, and stretch your muscles with ease.

Deep breathing and mindfulness can help us release tension from our bodies and enter a state of calm. If you found this exercise helpful, please feel free to return to it at anytime you please.

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.

Download the uMore app: http://atomic-temporary-180378686.wpcomstaging.com.link/

Release Tension With Applied Relaxation

Release Tension With Applied Relaxation

Release tension with applied relaxation

 

Being too busy or stressed with school, work, relationships, or our families can put our bodies into overdrive. We may begin to feel tense, constantly fighting a feeling of claustrophobia or hyper-activity within our own bodies. Let’s take a second to change this by practicing some progressive muscle relaxation—a technique that utilizes steady breathing to release unwanted tension in the body. During this exercise, be sure to take care when tensing and relaxing your muscles. Remember not to exercise any body part in a way that may lead to injury.

Focus on your calves and thighs. First, slowly tense your calves and thighs for 5 seconds. Try and be mindful of any changes to your muscle tension, noting how that physical sensation feels. Then, take 3 diaphragmatic breaths, just as we did before, before letting go of any tension you may notice. Once again, focus your attention on how these muscles relax, how the release of tension feels, and how it relaxes and quiets the mind. Take in deep breaths as you do this, remaining present and grounded. How do you feel?

landscape

 

 

Experiencing nature can also help us release tension and practice mindfulness

Next, slowly tense the chest and back muscles for 5 seconds. Try and be mindful of any changes to your muscle tension, noting how that physical sensation feels. Then, take 3 diaphragmatic breaths before letting go of any tension. Once again, focus your attention on how your muscles relax. While the muscles relax, spend 10 seconds identifying the emotions that accompany this feeling of relaxation. Take in deep breaths as you do this, remaining present and grounded.

Now let’s move onto the arms. Slowly tense the hands and forearms for 5 seconds. Try and be mindful of any changes to your muscle tension, acknowledging any physical sensations. Then, take 3 abdominal breaths before letting go of any tension. Once again, focus your attention on how your muscles relax.

Finally, we’re going to gently take some tension out of the face. Slowly tense your facial muscles for 5 seconds. Try and be mindful of any changes to your muscle tension. Then, take 3 abdominal breaths before letting go of any tension you may notice. Once again, focus your attention on how your muscles relax. Keep thinking about how the release of tension feels. Keep savoring the calmness and inactivity of your mind.

Feel free to stay still after you complete this. Take all the time you need before you do some stretches. Once completed, you could choose to repeat the exercise or turn your attention to something else that will help you relax. You may return to this exercise anytime you can feel tension or stress affecting your physical state or peace of mind.

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.

Download the uMore app: http://atomic-temporary-180378686.wpcomstaging.com.link/

Focus on relaxation breathing, it is important to take some time to yourself to recenter, relax, and enter a place of calm.

Focus on relaxation breathing, it is important to take some time to yourself to recenter, relax, and enter a place of calm.

Focus on relaxation breathing, it is important to take some time to yourself to recenter, relax, and enter a place of calm.

In our busy lives full of expectations and demands from other people, it is important to take some time to yourself to recenter, relax, and enter a place of calm. If this sounds appealing to you, you’ve come to the right place. In this exercise, we are going to practice a technique called relaxation breathing.

Before this exercise, we must prepare our bodies with some preliminary mindfulness. First, stand up straight with your shoulders over your hips, knees, and feet. Become mindful of your body. Bring all your attention to your lower abdominal muscles. Notice their tension, and let some of it go. Now, stand on your left leg and try to move your right ankle as close as you can onto your left knee, just to wherever it feels most comfortable. Rest your ankle on your knee, and try to keep your body still. Next, do the same with your left ankle to your right knee. Once your ankle is resting there, remain still by limiting the movements your body makes. Now come back to a standing pose, grounded with both feet making contact with the floor. Extend both of your arms outwards in front of your chest, and bend your knees as you lower your centre to the ground. Continue to drop until there are about three feet between your centre and the ground. Now come back to a standing position. Great, now your body has been exercised, and your circulation has been stimulated.

canopy

 

Taking time to experience nature can also help us relax.

Let’s get into some relaxation breathing. To start, breathe at your usual depth and pace, counting each breath after you inhale. Keep breathing this way, until you count 5 breaths. Now, think about breathing a little more deeply than you usually would. For each time you start an inhale to count your breath, bring yourself to think of the word “relax” while exhaling. Breathe this way and count for 10 breaths. Once you reach 10 breaths, count back down from 10 to 1, continuing to think of the word “relax” to yourself as you exhale. Great job!

Now we’re going to guide our bodies through a finishing exercise. To start, simply stay standing, exactly as you are for a minute, keeping your mind present. Focus on the moment. Next, rotate your left ankle for a minute. Let it roll in a way that feels natural to you, without it bringing any discomfort. Move onto the right ankle, rotating it in the same way. Now, stretch your arms and legs by clasping your hands together, reaching to the sky and then to the ground. Finally, find a bed or a soft surface on which you can lay on. Stretch out on the bed and lay there for two minutes. This marks the end of the relaxation breathing exercise. Continue to rest if it pleases your body, remembering to breathe when it asks for nourishing air.

Allow yourself to return to this exercise any time you feel a need to relax, recenter, or take some time to invest in your emotional and physical wellbeing. Self-care and care for others are symbiotic: one cannot exist without the other. Love yourself for loving yourself!

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.

Download the uMore app: http://atomic-temporary-180378686.wpcomstaging.com.link/

Bring calm to your body with diaphragmatic breathing

Bring calm to your body with diaphragmatic breathing

Bring calm to your body with diaphragmatic breathing

Oftentimes when we are feeling stressed, our breaths can shorten, and our heart rate can elevate. This may lead to a magnified feeling of bodily claustrophobia or tension. Let’s relieve this tension by practising a technique called diaphragmatic breathing. As you can tell from its name, this exercise uses the powerful breathing muscle above our belly to establish calm through long-lasting breaths.

Let’s begin. Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Close your eyes and take a few breaths through your nose. Notice how naturally, both your hands rise and fall as your body inhales and exhales. On this breath, inhale through your nose, and try and keep your chest from moving. Keep your shoulders still and grounded to the surface on which you lay. As you inhale, take the breath in through your belly, inflating it like a balloon. Visualize the breath entering your belly as your lungs become full of air. As you exhale, notice how your hand on your belly falls back down, while your hand sitting on your chest is still.

palm

 

What’s more relaxing than the leaves of a palm tree rustling in the wind?

When you can feel stress mounting, perhaps in the form of tension or panicked breathing, play a soundtrack that relaxes you and practices this exercise for 3 minutes at a pace that you find comfortable. Care for others starts with care for yourself. Always take time to invest in your wellbeing!

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.

Download the uMore app: http://atomic-temporary-180378686.wpcomstaging.com.link/

So you would think we know how to do this correctly, right? Well, perhaps you should think again.

So you would think we know how to do this correctly, right? Well, perhaps you should think again.

So you would think we know how to do this correctly, right? Well, perhaps you should think again.

All of us breathe every-couple-seconds every single day, so you would think we know how to do this correctly, right? Well, perhaps you should think again. There are some ways to breathe that can make us stressed and anxious, even magnifying feelings of tension. There are other ways that can more quickly bring us to a place of calm. Let’s learn these and how to breathe to release tension stress. Two parts of the body are key to breathing – the nose and the belly.

relax

 

Or maybe just pretend you’re laying in this hammock.

Let’s consider the nose. When taking deep relaxing breaths, make sure that each inhale and exhale comes through the nose. Your nose will filter and humidify all the air that comes in. This can help relax the blood vessels to improve circulation in our bodies.

Now let’s focus on the belly. Right above our stomach, we have a muscle called the diaphragm. When this muscle is used, the belly expands, creating even more space in our lungs for fresh air to enter.

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.

Download the uMore app: http://atomic-temporary-180378686.wpcomstaging.com.link/

 

Do you experience headaches, tension, or difficulty breathing when you are stressed? You are not alone.

Do you experience headaches, tension, or difficulty breathing when you are stressed? You are not alone.

Do you experience headaches, tension, or difficulty breathing when you are stressed? You are not alone.

Do you experience headaches, tension, or difficulty breathing when you are stressed? You are not alone. Oftentimes stress and strong emotions can put a strain on the way we breathe – whether it manifests as shortness of breath or panicked breathing. This form of stress breathing can make it hard for new air to enter our lungs. Why do we want to prevent this? When we breathe we have control. Deep breathing slows down the natural rhythms of the body and the mind, making our bodies feel like they do when they are already calm and relaxed. This can help us gather ourselves and clear our minds.

cold

 

 

What’s better than breathing some fresh mountain air?

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.

Download the uMore app: http://atomic-temporary-180378686.wpcomstaging.com.link/