Breathe Your Way to Relaxation
I wrote in Monday's blog that Thanksgiving is the start of the winter holiday eating season. It's also the start of the winter holiday stressed-out season.
It's easy to get lost in all the things we have to do. Feeling stressed, not in control, and overwhelmed are common during the winter holiday season. I encourage you to slow down, breathe, and pay special attention to your body this week and all through the year.
When I was going through my cognitive behavioral therapy program for insomnia, one of the techniques I utilized to help me fall back to sleep was progressive muscle relaxation. I want you to try progressive muscle relaxation today.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a stress management technique that enables you to focus on just one thing, your body. It's a great tool to use when you're stressed and find your attention is pulled in a million different directions. Perhaps you're feeling this way today?
Progressive muscle relaxation works by progressively tensing and relaxation muscle groups throughout your entire body. You will tense each muscle group vigorously, but without straining, and then suddenly release the tension and feel the muscle relax.
You can certainly just lie down and do this on your own. However, I find the best way to practice this technique is to follow a guided script. I still rely upon progressive muscle relaxation to help me fall back to sleep when my insomnia returns. I listen to a variety of guided scripts available on the Insight Timer app. I have noticed that the nights I listen to a guided meditation my HRV increases and my Whoop recovery scores are higher. Clearly, focused and deliberate relaxation, which some folks call meditation or breath work, as a profound impact on our central nervous system and our overall stress level.
Here's a great guided progressive muscle relaxation from Rebecca Boskovic of The Fittest Me. I first became aware of Rebecca through my Two Brain Business mentoring program. She is a CrossFitter and a dynamic #bosslady who has a terrific podcast.
Click here to listen to her progressive muscle relaxation podcast.
I hope it's the best 17 minutes of your day.
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