One of the biggest lies some of us have been told is that being ‘run off your feet’ means you’re somehow on an incline, professionally, personally and physically. Sometimes it’s important to take the slow road in some areas of life, because to give stress it’s marching orders by simply slowing things down and shifting your mind-set boosts productivity, your health – and as a result, more fulfilment in your life!
So how do we get there?
Ease off the Caffeine.
Caffeine can be a controversial subject, but when it comes to taking stress levels down, it’s important to consider how your body might be responding to your personal intake. Caffeine pumps adrenaline into the body meaning your adrenals are working in a way they wouldn’t work naturally. It puts us on high alert, which may seem beneficial when life throws so many demands, curve balls and hard-hitting news our way, but this level of stress sends a message to the body to hold off on ‘non-essential’ bodily functions like digestion, when really, in times such as now, we need to send a message to our bodies they are safe to rest and repair.
Prioritise Diaphragmatic breathing .
Most adults subconsciously breathe high into their chests, they use secondary respiratory muscles that are up near their collar bones and closer to the thinking mind. When we look at a baby breathe, they know to breathe in through their nostrils, their chests and deep into their bellies. This is called diaphragmatic breathing or deep belly breathing. The diaphragm is shaped like a balloon and we can consciously breathe there and feel the rise and fall of the lower belly. The phrenic nerve runs down the sides of the diaphragm and when you breathe in this way, the phrenic nerve activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest state. ‘When we breathe diaphragmatically it communicates to every cell in our body via our nervous system that we’re ‘safe’ adds Libby ‘From that place I believe health is incredibly optimal.’
Rest before you sleep.
Ever wake up and feel like you could just fall straight back to sleep again, with little to no energy to begin your day? Sound familiar? When adrenaline is dominantly circulating, the body doesn’t want to sleep restoratively because its concern is that if you were under threat, you wouldn’t be able to wake up quickly and defend yourself. ‘We live in a world that’s forgotten what rest is.’ Says sleep and dream specialist Rubin Naaman. ‘Going to the movies or going on a hike is recreation, not rest. Reading a book isn’t rest. We’re literally restless.’ As a result, our sleep isn’t restorative, we’re subconsciously still on alert.
Consider the fabrics on your body.
Let’s face it, your body is at its happiest when it’s in its birthday suit, and your primal instincts will love that too! But unless you want to get arrested, modern society suggests we wear clothes. But you guessed it, the fabrics we wear have a huge impact on our well being too. Our skin is our largest organ and the only one we can touch, a lot of man-made fibres don’t allow the skin to breathe and can cause irritation, trapping moisture and even letting toxins enter the blood stream. When kicking back and actually allowing the body and mind to rest, we might be biased but Bamboo smooth, soft, natural fabrics are as good to your skin as they are to the planet.
Writen by Caitlin Taylor