Here are 4 of my favorite rituals + recipes for stress:
- Breath Work or Diaphragmatic Breathing:
This can be done anywhere, laying down or sitting, in the car or at the office. It is a great exercise to encourage the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to activate. The diaphragm is directly below the heart so when we do this breathing technique the diaphhragm gently massages the heart and activates the (PNS).
- Place your hands gently on your belly and start breathing with ease.
- Close your eyes.
- Take long deep breaths and imagine your belly expanding as you inhale and contracting as you exhale.
- Visualize the air coming in and out through your nose and coming down and filling your belly with breath. If you are getting no movement on your belly , gently press with your hands.
- Find a rhythm. Inhale and exhale equally. Do this for 5 min.
2. Drink a cup of warm Golden Milk -
Golden milk has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine in India to promote health and well being. I used to make this at my store 5 years ago when no one knew about it unless you were a yogi. I love that it has become so popular now that I can even find it at my local coffee shop! Turmeric has amazing healing and nourishing properties, it's anti- inflammatory, fights colds and flus,promotes a restful sleep and settles the mind. It is a great ritual to implement before you go to bed.
Golden Milk Recipe:
- Add ¼ tsp of turmeric powder , pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper to ¼ cup of water in a pot and heat until it becomes a paste—stirring occasionally to help dissolve the turmeric powder
- Add 1 cup milk (traditionally is made with cow’s milk, but I like to make mine vegan with any activated nut milk you prefer) to the turmeric paste
- Add 1-2 tsp of either ghee or coconut oil
- Add 1 tsp of honey once the milk has cooled enough to touch
You can make a bigger batch of the paste and keep it in your refrigerator for up to a week.
3. Bath Ritual:
Create a sacred space in your bathroom by lighting some candles, burning some sage or Palo santo and immersing yourself in a bath of essential oils and crystals. My pick crystals for stress and relaxation are Clear or Rose quartz, Amethyst and Citrine. You can add some Epsom salts, which helps relax your muscles, rose petals and a few drops of rose, lavender or frankincense essential oil. Turn off and relax.
When I take a bath I also like to exfoliate my body with epsom salts by rubbing them over my damp skin. The magnesium not only relaxes the muscles but also removes dead cells, helping your skin look healthier and feel softer. Also I take this opportunity to make a simple facemask while I lay and relax.
1.Mix 1 tablespoon each of Epsom salt, olive oil, and raw honey. 2.Stir in 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. 3.Gently massage into skin, using circular motions. 4.Leave on 15 minutes. 5.Rinse
4. Change your perception of stress
The way we perceive a situation and the story we tell ourselves about it will directly impact the way our body responds to it. So try speaking to yourself with a softer voice. Not projecting into the future, creating anxiety about something that might never even happen.
Try to stay present, flexible, soft, and optimistic and see how your level of stress can just be reduced by only changing your perception of it. Your thinking impacts your behaviors, while your behaviors impact your thinking.
"Stress resides neither in the situation nor in the person, it depends on a transaction between the two." (Dr Richard Lazarus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist )