It can be hard to avoid the stresses of everyday life, whether at home, work, school, or in the middle of a commute. Feeling anxious or nervous when an intense moment kicks in is totally normal, but it can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with. We spoke to Claudia Mirallegro, a health and wellness expert and yoga pro, about her top tips for stress-management.
The next time you start to feel overwhelmed, whether by your to-do list, a relationship problem, a workplace drama, or nothing in particular, try one of these techniques – all simple, easy, effective ways to fight stress.
“I believe with every spec of my being that gratitude can shift your perspective. Gratitude is taking the time to be thankful. And here’s the thing: gratitude is really very simple. Grab a notepad and write three things you are grateful for. Rinse and repeat that question every day and notice the magical change in your mindset.”
“Aka medicine for the soul. When we repeat powerful mantras, we are affirming those words to ourselves. You say it enough times and believe me, you believe it! This completely shifts your negative habits into positive ones. Repeat after me: I have enough, I am enough!”
“Power pose. Which is all yoga really is. A bunch of power poses strung together. That’s why you always leave feeling empowered. Because you’ve allowed yourself to take up space and tap in to your presence. If you want to lift your mood instantly, try standing with your feet apart, your hands on your hips, and your chin tilted upward. Amy Cuddy gave one of my fave TEDTalks on the benefits of “power-posing,” and how doing so produces psychological and behavioural improvements in the moment.”
“Sleep is one of the most healing things you can do for your body. Dr Matthew Walker (sleep expert) says “sleep is the greatest legal performance enhancing drug that most people are probably neglecting”. If you’re noticing that your stress levels are rising, make sure you’re getting enough good quality sleep.”
“When you are focusing on your breath you are in the present moment. So fear of the past/present/future cannot bother you. You should know that we can hold on to stresses, anxieties and tensions and they build up in our bodies. Take a deep breath in and once you have filled all the way up hold it in. Feel the fullness. It’s quite uncomfortable but feel it anyway. Let anything you’ve been holding on to bubble up to the surface and then let it go.”
Top Tip: “Ultimately you are in control, if you do start to feel your cortisol levels rising then it’s time to step back. Recognise your thoughts and recharge yourself with the tips above. If you need more tricks then head over to my Instagram Stories, where I’m working through 108 days of mindfulness!” – Claudia