We live in a world that is constant motion–literally and figuratively, and let’s face it; it can be difficult to quiet the mind and find our “zen” when there’s so much going on around us. Unfortunately, a mind that never settles leads to a number of situations that can have a very serious negative impact on our health–from sleepless nights to higher levels of stress hormones. Today, I am sharing five ways to stay calm in the chaos. I would love to hear your ideas below or on my Facebook page in the comments.
Be Grateful: It sounds a little cliched, but the proof is in the pudding so to speak. According to a study at The University of California, Davis, Gratitude has been shown to reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone) over 20%. One way to do this is to recite 3-6 things you’re grateful for each morning and in moments of stress. Give it a try and let me know if you notice any changes.
Exercise: OK, you knew this would be in here, but there’s a good reason beyond wanting to see you all in class. Exercise keeps dopamine and serotonin levels up while also giving us time to zone out in a way that actually benefits our overall health (unlike a glass of wine and TV, which also has its place, but not daily).
Stay Present: There is a saying that living in the past brings about depression and living in the future increases anxiety. Instead of dwelling on what has gone wrong and what could go wrong, keep your eyes on the road in front of you and make your big decisions in real time.
Step Outside of The Situation: Whether it’s a packed train, an overwhelming mother-in-law or a chaotic work meeting, challenge yourself to see it as an objective person looking in instead of someone who needs to participate. In doing so, you’ll start to see the big picture and train your mind to focus on the whole instead of allowing small bumps and eye-rolls to ruin your day.
Breathe: We sometimes forget that the calming, deep, healthy and healing Pilates breathing technique can be used outside of the studio, and as often as is needed. Breathing properly will not only lower your heart rate and redirect your focus “inside” yourself.