I was catching up with a friend yesterday (also a first-time-mom, also stressed the hell out, also salty that no one gave her the real) and we talked about the necessity of the ‘self-check’. This is especially useful for those of you that have a hard time becoming aware of the negative thoughts (‘aka’ your inner critic) that leave you clinging to your last nerve. And while some stress is normal and expected, the prolonged, always-seething-under-the-surface kind should not be… that’s where we get into trouble. As I’m sure you know, stress can lead to depression, illness, weight gain and the inability to turn-up and get your whole, entire life.
So, right now, I want you to take a deep breath, and quickly become aware of four things-
1. Your Shoulders.
Go on, relax them. They were jammed up to your ears weren’t they? Mine live up there.
2. Your Tongue.
Strange, I know. Take note if your tongue is plastered to the roof of your mouth. If it is, its tense and so are you. Give it permission to relax and gently fall to rest toward your lower jaw. For that matter, also relax your jaw!
3. Your Tummy.
I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this, you’re neither at the beach nor posing for a pic, so why is it sucked in? Liberate her! And also read up on slow, diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing).
4. Those cheeks!
And I’m talking the ones behind the thighs, not the ones beneath the eyes. Sometimes we don’t realize when all of the craziness is going on that we’re sitting an inch higher than we should be. You may be doing it while you’re just standing there. The term is ‘butt gripping’ and believe it or not some clinicians have linked butt gripping to lower back pain. So come ladies – #ReleaseTheCheeks!
Psychological issues manifest physiologically. It is presumed that if you can squash the physiological signs of stress (the clenched jaw and high shoulders), that some of the jacked up psychological stuff you’re dealing with, especially the more trivial ish, will resolve on its own. #ChooseHappiness #LevelUp
So several times a day, at least once an hour, for 2 seconds, do a full body scan (set your phone alarm to remind you!). Become aware of any tension and give yourself permission to relax… let it go, release it! Within a week or two, it’ll become second nature and whenever you find yourself on edge emotionally, you’ll immediately relax your stomach (or wherever you collect the most tension) and your mind will follow. It’s not magic, but it will feel like it. You won’t even have to review your thoughts and beliefs, because the more you practice this (body awareness, presence), the less chance your mind will have to go off the rails. One dope side-effect of body scanning (that I’ll elaborate on later this week), is that since you’re no longer in a hackles-up, tense, resistant state, your desires… the ones you’ve been desperately waiting on for the last 2 years… they just show up! When you release the resistance, your blessings flow to you, effortlessly. You don’t even have to ask. #GodKnows