Take a deep breath
We live in a stressful time. We are bombarded with information from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed at night. Smart phones and television, while great tools, can make it difficult to remain in the present moment and give our brains a break. Let’s take a look at a typical day.
We wake up and watch the news or listen to music, while getting ready for work and driving to work. We get to work and our brains are occupied by whatever tasks we have for the day. After work, we drive home with the music on, turn the TV on or get right to work on chores or visiting family. At night-time, we go to bed and many of us wonder why we can’t sleep.
Your brain hasn’t had time to process any of the information of the day. You feel this as your mind races while you lie awake in bed for a half an hour, an hour, two hours or more, in some cases. We take our medications to fall asleep in many cases and are unable to sleep without them. After falling asleep, we wake up and start the whole process again.
Take stock of how you’re feeling right now. Shoulders feeling tense? Jaw clenched? You’re not alone with this, as American’s are dealing with more and more stress each day, which has been linked to an increase in anxiety, depression and even heart disease.
Its not too late to change. Start by setting aside five or ten minutes each day, just to sit and relax. No TV or phones. No family or chores. Sit and take deep breaths. Breathe in as deeply as you can through your nose and slowly blow it out of your mouth. Close your eyes and relax. If needed, put on relaxing music, as it can help to drown out distractions. Let your mind relax for potentially the first time in years. Don’t try to control your thoughts. Just let them flow but all the while trying to relax your body and your mind. It may help to repeat short phrases or “mantras” to yourself, such as “I am strong,” or “I can do this.”
Doing this daily or at least multiple times per week will dramatically change your life. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel once you slow things down, even for just a few minutes.
I hope this helps! Please share with others if you think they might benefit!
Thanks for reading.
Dr. Cameron Dennis, PT, DPT
Back on Track Therapy and Wellness