Stress is a part of life, especially for women who tend to juggle multiple responsibilities in different areas of their lives. In fact, about 33% of people report feeling extreme stress, and 77% of people report feeling stress that affects their physical health. Yikes! Incorporating yoga and meditation, known stress busters, can provide a much-needed oasis of calm in our daily routine.
I don't think I have to convince you as to why you need to lower your stress levels, but just to put this in perspective- as a health coach for women who specializes in holistic hormonal health, I constantly have clients and women in my community battling chronic stress. This leads to health issues like infertility, trouble sleeping, acne, weight issues and for women who have been diagnosed with something like PCOS, their symptoms are much worse. If you're trying to balance your hormones, you MUST manage your stress response AND lower/eliminate as many stressors in your life as well.
How Yoga and Meditation Aid in Stress Reduction
Yoga and meditation serve as powerful tools in mitigating stress and fostering tranquility. If you're in search of effective strategies to decompress and quiet your mind, delve into these five essential tips that leverage the calming virtues of yoga and meditation to help you unwind.
1. Start with Deep Breathing Techniques
Your breath is your life force. When you're stressed, you tend to breath shallow as your body is in fight-or-flight mode. Breathing exercises help in relaxing the body and clearing the mind. You can try alternate nostril breathing, Kapalbhati breathing or Pranayama. Or more simply, you can just take a deep breathe in through your nose + breathe out through your mouth like you're fogging a mirror. Do this a few times and notice how your body instantly relaxes! Deep breathing is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to de-stress your body and mind.
2. Practice Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation involves paying close attention to the present moment without any judgment. It helps in reducing anxiety, depression and improving emotional control. You can use apps like Headspace or Calm to get started with meditation, or try some of my free guided meditations on Youtube! Try my 5-Minute GROUNDING Guided Meditation, or my Emotional Release Meditation.
3. Release Tension through Yoga Poses
Yoga poses like Child’s Pose, Downward Dog and Tree Pose are great for releasing physical tension from the body. Legs up the wall is another pose I love to do before bed to relax my body and mind. These poses improve flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness, which helps in reducing stress levels. Even doing these poses for just a few minutes a day can have a significant impact on reducing stress levels. Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel for free yoga flows that are coming!
4. Focus on Self-Care
Self-care is essential for mental and emotional well-being. Make a conscious effort to add self-care practices in your daily routine, such as taking a long bubble bath, going for a walk in nature, or taking a yoga class. Even if it's just 10 minutes/day (1 hour is even better- that's 4% of your day!!) Practicing self-care helps in promoting feelings of self-love, relaxation, and peace.
5. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude helps in shifting focus from negative thoughts to positive ones. Practicing gratitude involves recognizing and appreciating the good things in our lives. You can start with making a daily list of things you are grateful for or taking a few moments before bed to reflect on the positives of your day. If you want to take it even further, try creating a Gratitude Challenge for yourself- read my blog post about how 40 Days of Gratitude Changed My Life.
De-stressing using yoga and meditation is a powerful way to find peace and calm in your life. By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can easily manage stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Try the above tips and see how they can make a positive impact on your life today! Check out my blog post, Effective Strategies for Nervous System Regulation for more ways to naturally regulate your nervous system.