Has it been one of those weeks? A week where there haven’t been enough hours to tackle your ‘To Do’ list? We’ve been there too. Here are some ways to cope and breathe easy….
Everyone agrees that stress is bad for your health. But modern life has yet to find a way to live life to the full while ditching the stress. It can be hard to find a happy medium. To treat an ancient problem, it might help us to look to ancient methods.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese healthcare practice which uses a mixture of breathing techniques and physical postures to focus intention on relaxation. The word ‘Qigong’ is made of two Chinese words: ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’ and means life force or energy), and ‘Gong’ (pronounced ‘gung’, means accomplishment or practiced). So the two together represent accomplished life force and who doesn’t want that?
The blend of physical activities and mindful meditation involved in martial arts like Tai Chi, or the more vigorous Kung Fu, have proved to be effective in stress relief for all age groups. Qigong can be thought of as a medical or spiritual practice that doesn’t require a major overhaul in lifestyle to experience results. While some have spent decades perfecting the techniques, some basic concepts can be utilized from your desk in times of stress.
1, Go for a brisk walk.
Qigong focuses on rhythmic pattern to increase circulation and steady the mind. By focusing on each footfall you can quiet the barrage of thoughts and reminders that batter your bruised psyche to find a little peace before returning to battle.
- Breathe deeply.
Even the busiest person can (and should!) take 60 seconds to practice a deep and mindful set of breathing exercises every once in a while. Imagine that you are inhaling the power your brain needs to focus while exhaling all the negativity and doubt that may be drowning your thoughts. If done correctly and consciously, it will work.
- Stretch your muscles.
Your muscles need the oxygen that your blood provides, but once you’ve been sitting for an extended period of time your blood runs low on oxygen. By standing up and stretching out your muscles you can quickly return the oxygen-rich blood that is needed. This in turn gives the muscles working your brain a boost too.
- Get a glass of water.
The Qigong practice believes that body and mind are best when both are healthy and working as one. You would be surprised at how many of our daily maladies (sore muscles, headache, grogginess) are due to being dehydrated.
- Find a happy memory.
Those old family photographs really do serve a purpose on your desk. By placing a reminder of your life goals near you you can refer to a happy thought when life’s troubles climb too high. By keeping your ultimate priorities in mind you can slowly learn to not sweat the small stuff.
These five seemingly obvious actions are often forgotten in the daily lives of many busy people. Just by taking a few minutes to think of your physical and mental state can work wonders in your life. Awareness is the key to solving any problem, and if your problem is stress there are ways to manage it.
Just don’t manage it like this:
Or like this:
And definitely not like this:
For more information on Qigong visit: QigongInstitute.org
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