5 Steps for Releasing Stress and Clearing Brain Fog
This morning I had coffee with a new friend. I love new friends. I think as we get older it's important to find new people that inspire you and align with your path. As we were chatting this morning, talking about everything from relationships, to yoga, to careers, and more, she asked me what is it I am trying to say to people? What is this all about? What do I work for, what do I spend all this time enery and money on? It's a tough question to answer.... what is my voice. And the truth is that I don't have the answers. I don't have the answers to very many of life's greatest questions. But what I do know is that there is no race to the finish line. Because there is no finish line. I was lucky enough to be raised in a family of two awesome parents who always told me to find what I was passionate about, and to never stop evolving.
"You shouldn't know what you are going to be doing for the next fourty years."
-My dad, Judd.
It is SO TRUE. How can we make plans for the unknown? As ever changing humans beings, staying open to things shifting in your relationships and careers is important to do. As a creative and sensitive individual I can often get caught up in my own head about my direction. Where am I going and why? It's easy to be self-defeated, but not helpful. I've found personal tools that really help me to stay grounded, not get too far ahead of myself, and to find some general softening in order to relieve stress and tension. Especially in times when I feel pressure to figure out all of the answers RIGHT NOW. I told my friend today that I am inspired by those teachers that have a strong voice and are confident in their stance. Her response,
"Yes, but those people don't have the answers either. It sounds like they do,
but we are all just trying to figure it out."
The steps to removing emotional stress and tension around path and direction all come down to stepping away from the situation. Here are FIVE things that I do that work.
1. Breathe. There are so many breathing techniques in the world that are used to balance out the nervous system, and to relieve anxiety. I like alternate nostril breathing.
Plug your left nostril with your ring and middle finger. Inhale through the right to 6. Hold both nostrils closed and pause for 4. Close the right and exhale for 6 through the left. Close both, pause for 4, so on.
2. Stretch. I think by now most of us realize that we hold emotional stress in the physical body. The link between the two is so strong, and when your muscles are tensing up, it's a sign that the body is not clear and open. Step away from what you are doing and do a few stretches that will help you connect with your body and release. Four stretches that help with this are standing forward fold, downward dog, half pigeon, and a heart opener.
3. Herbal Tea. The act of making herbal tea alone is healing. I'm not even talking about drinking it (although that is equally important), but taking the time for yourself to prepare a cup of warm healing tea, can help reduce stress. I generally make a huge french press so that I can have a few cups that day. Often one cup doesn't do it. Try not to make the tea and go straight back to work. Make the tea, let it steep for a while, and then step outside and be a part of the world. Breathe the air, see what's happening in the sky, and then offer up a little gratitude for your beverage. If you don't have access to a great apothecary, I recommend Traditional Medicinals brand that you can find at most health stores.
4. Essential Oils. I have found through studying herbalism, that people often overlook the powerful effects of essential oils. They have so many therapeutic properties that many don't realize that they can benefit you. When I am struggling with my path and direction, I turn to Roman Chamomile. Not only does it smell amazing, but it has the power to help you when you're struggling with turning points in your life. If you have another oil that you really love, get it out, smell it, and then put a few drops on your palms and the soles of your feet. These locations have the highest absorbancy into the bloodstream.
5. TRUST. This one is huge. When we get self-defeated, we often see the bad. It's easy to forget that you do actually know your path. You are a strong individual with goals and dreams, and just because you are struggling to access your creativity energy, does not mean it isn't there. Do the above steps and then relax. KNOW in your heart that there is zero rush or race, and that your voice is strong and unique. There is time, my friend.