Let’s face the facts...
Adulting is stressful. Personally, we want to Peter Pan foreverrr! We live in an age where we are over connected digitally and undervalued individually. We are so busy trying to conquer everything we do, but we make no time for some inner peace. Before you know it, you’re spiraling down a manhole of anxiety on your lunch break or dry-heaving before that big performance or presentation. STOP! We not only need mental health days, but daily habits to help us de-stress and vibe at a higher frequency which leads to manifesting our truest desires. Here are some simple methods to help you ease your mind and de-stress when you need something quick.
You have probably heard of the word “mantra” in yoga classes, your instagram feed, or quickly glossed over it in conversations about self- affirmations. But what does the word actually mean? Well, in ancient Hinduism and Buddhism mantras originated as a word, sound, or incantation that would aid in the concentration of meditation. Today, we use mantras in our daily lives to practically not lose our shit while we are going through career conundrums, breakups, financial woes, and basically any other melt down in our complicated lifestyles. Research and common sense proves that every thought and emotion creates a chemical reaction. Hence, mantras change our neurochemicals providing immediate relief for our physical, spiritual, and mental health.
Here are a few simple mantras with simplified translations we urge you to adopt for some mental health maintenence. Click on each mantra for a video demonstration:
Om: is the sound of the universe and original vibration of the cycles of life
Om shanti...shanti..shanti: invoking silence and inner peace
So Ham: I am that I am: Inhale So and exhale Ham.
If you would like to expand further and pick up some sacred words in sanskrit click here.
Your mantras can also be silly, fun or for a specific situation. We have a friend who says “Adriana Lima” or “I have a cute butt” over and over again when holding difficult yoga poses. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can say something as simple as “I got this” to keep you going. Find something that resonates with you and makes you feel good!
Sama Vritti or Equal Breathing
Just BREATHE! Yes, we all breathe to survive but proper breathing techniques with awareness soothes our sympathetic nervous system, which directly responds to calming our mind and body. When you become stressed and begin to experience symptoms of panic attacks, you have to remember that your stress response is temporary and you CAN do a breathing exercise to focus and gain control. In yoga and meditation, pranayama which translates to life force is the practice of controlling our breath.
One of the most common and important techniques is Sama Vritti or equal breathing that emphasizes on creating the same amount of inhalation and exhalation. Follow these steps:
Find a comfortable seated position with a straight spine. Take a deep inhale with a count of four and be present with this rhythm and the sound of your breath.
Exhale for a count of four and concentrate on the pattern of your breathing with a relaxed flow. You can also visualize the flow of your breath like a wave calming your entire body.
Repeat for as long as you would like (ideally at least 5 minutes). You can even increase the count to eight for a longer sequence.
In Buddhism or Hinduism, mudras are hand gestures or seals practiced to create or affect the flow of energy in our body and emotion. In the ayurvedic science, our bodies are made up of five elements which are air, water, fire, sky, and Earth. These elements exists in all nature and also in different forms in our body. When we experience an imbalance in our bodies, a particular mudra can be practiced to connect one particular part of the body with another point.
Gyan mudra is one of the most common and powerful ancient practice to attain peace, calm, and connect with our spirituality. This gesture increases the air element and stimulates the brain and the nervous system which in turn calms our mind. Follow these simple steps and say farewell to your stress:
Sit in a comfortable position preferably crossed legged with straight spine. Connect your thumb and the index finger with the tips touching with light pressure.
The rest of your fingers should be straight, but relaxed. Now focus and let this mudra help you maintain your calm.
Try to make meditation, yoga, or any calming routine a daily practice so you build that dam before it floods! May you find some inner peace and be the boss human you’re meant to be!
The Half Hippies