Saturday, September 17, 2016

Five Fast Tension Tamers for Busy People

Five Fast Tension Tamers for Busy People

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT

Want to fit relaxation into your busy schedule? Here are five ways you can relax during the day, no matter how busy your schedule is.

If you have five minutes - try a body scan. Sitting or lying down, find a comfortable position and gently focus on different parts of your body in this relaxing technique. Start by feeling your toes for two breaths, then feel each different body part, switching every second inhale. Breathe and feel the feet, ankles, lower legs and knees. Continue to focus on how your body feels from the inside of your thighs, hips, lower back, abdomen, upper back, shoulders, chest, arms, hands and fingers. Finish your body scan by feeling inside your neck, jaw, face, ears and scalp, each for two breaths. Finally, focus on your entire body breathing peacefully for a few breaths. This can be done at night in bed or when you are a passenger in a car.

If you can spare two minutes, twice a day, Dr. Andrew Weil recommends a 4-7-8 breathing technique. Find out more here:

If you have one minute - focus on your breath. This exercise can be done at your desk or even in a tense meeting! Take a slow deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through your nose. Count to two, then inhale again. Pausing in between breaths brings relaxation.  

If you are waiting in line - whether at the grocery store or for your morning coffee, take 30 seconds to notice what is going on in the body. With each breath, focus on relaxing the muscles around the eyes, then the forehead, then the jaw, then letting the shoulders be at ease.

For a custom relaxation primer, try this trick - imagine you are making a business presentation and were just asked a question you can’t answer. Feel that anxiety in your body. Now, notice what parts of your body tensed up. Your hands? Your face? Your belly? Focus on relaxing your personal list of tense body parts the next time you need a dose of relaxation.  

Kathleen Lisson is a certified Meditation Teacher and Labyrinth Facilitator and teaches Meditation and Mindfulness at IPSB college in San Diego. Sign up for a private meditation lesson or labyrinth walk in the comfort of your home here:

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