Here are four quick things you can do to return your body/mind to the parasympathetic state of relaxation. You can take charge of your thoughts and your nervous system with these simple exercises; turning down your stress levels gives you more freedom to think clearly and to make the best choices. The goal is to “be calmly active and actively calm” (P. Yogananda) no matter what is happening to you or around you in everyday life.
1. Light Meditation – 30-60 seconds. To “push the reset button in your nervous system.” Begin by connecting with your inner being, where there are no past worries. Vividly imagine a lovely scene: breathe in and out, close your eyes, breathe in and out, gently hold your breath for a count of 4. Imagine everything good coming in with your in breath and bad thoughts moving out with your outbreath.
You can have an internal dialog, or just sit there and be still. You may even want to focus on your heart beating.
2. Round Breath. Sit and consciously relax all your muscles, Breathe in for a count of 4, hold breath for 4 counts, breathe out for a count of 4, hold breath for 4 counts. Repeat 3 rounds to change the landscape of your brain and stress level
3. Big Silly Grin. Stand up, put feet shoulder width apart, stable base, roll shoulders back. Put the biggest, silliest grin on your face. Put hands on your hips or out to the side. The negative hormones will stop and happy hormones will decrease! Sing, hum, keep smiling, and pump your fists.
4. GRIN. When you feel stressed or down and out:
R- ramp up the good feeling
I- imagine a good outcome
N - notice how good you feel