5 Ways to Help Reduce Stress and Focus on YOU
Stress. We all experience it, and we’ve all got different ways of handling it. Between work, school, family commitments, relationships and other responsibilities, you may be feeling the heat more often than not.
We’ve been big fans of Koya Webb, an internationally-recognized yoga teacher, holistic health and wellness coach, author and motivational speaker, for a long time; we love her optimistic perspective and her focus on overall well-being. We asked her to share how to chill out when life feels stressful, and she delivered. Check out Koya’s top five tips to relax, refocus and help reduce your stress, and put the ones that resonate with you into practice today!
Meditation can be practiced anywhere. It is a practice that uses mindfulness to increase feelings of happiness and calm, and can be helpful to help reduce anxiety or stress. Meditating can take just 5-10 minutes of your day. Here’s how to get started: Sit or lay down in a comfortable position, close your eyes, relax your body and mind and just focus on your gentle breathing. If you feel your mind starts to wander, don’t be too hard on yourself and try to bring your attention back to your breath. That’s it! If you’re having trouble, try a meditation app to guide you.
Mile A Day
It is so important that we get our bodies moving throughout the day. I practice what I call “A mile a day,” where I try to walk or run for one mile every single day. This allows me to clear my mind, connect with nature and give my body the physical activity that it needs. You can do this either outdoors or indoors, and you will feel amazing afterwards.
As a yoga teacher, [yoga] is my top go-to for relieving stress and releasing tension in my body. A simple flow that I recommend doing daily that doesn’t require a studio membership is sun salutations.
To do sun salutation A, start out in standing mountain pose with your palms pressed together in prayer position and take a few deep breaths. At your next inhale, bring your arms up from the sides over your head. As you exhale, fold your body forward with your hands beside your feet and your nose rested at your knees. At your inhale, lift your body halfway up and make sure your back is flat by bringing your hands to your shins. As you exhale, step or jump into a high plank pose position, then slowly lower your body to the floor. As your inhale, push your body up into cobra or upward-facing dog. Exhale as you bring your body to downward dog position; you can remain here for a few breaths. As you inhale, step or jump both of your feet in between your hands on the floor, then raise your torso halfway up again. When you exhale, fold your torso over your thighs into standing forward fold position and make sure your hands are rested near your feet and your nose is rested towards your knees. As you inhale, sweep your arms out to the sides, bringing them up and over your head, then exhale as you come back into mountain pose with your hands at heart center.
This flow is an excellent way to start off your mornings. Feel free to repeat as many times as you feel is necessary for your body and mind.
Massaging is an excellent way to release your body of any tension or muscle aches. You don’t have to go anywhere to have a great massage. You can do it yourself! Use a tennis ball to massage anywhere you feel pain or tension. Place the tennis ball on the affected area and put your weight on the ball. For example, if your foot is aching, place the tennis ball under your foot and roll it out. If your upper back is in pain, place your back on the tennis ball on a wall. This way, you can roll around against the wall to direct the ball towards where the pain or ache is. If you don’t have a tennis ball lying around, simply use your hands to apply gentle pressure to where the pain is and massage it for a few minutes to release tension. You can also apply a bit of Cooling Oil and massage it into sore muscles to help reduce tension and offer a cooling refreshment to skin.
For an almost instant feeling of serenity, I always go to essential oils. For example, Lavender is one of my favorite oils to help me decompress. Peppermint is my go-to essential oil because the smell is so energizing. Lastly, I adore Vanilla essential oil because it’s light and sweet. The possibilities with essential oils are endless; choose the one that resonates with you in your wellness rituals.
We’d love to hear how YOU reduce stress. Share your tips with us on Instagram Stories and tag @aveda so we can see them!