On my Instagram account, I started a 30 Days of Instagram after realizing that I wanted to help more people and get more feedback on how I can be a better teacher, so the next 30 days I am going to share with you stress management techniques. I would love your feedback and please share so I can help more people!
As heads up, I started this program about 2 weeks ago on Instagram, so I plan to post the last two weeks that I have done so far with links to each video in this post and the future ones in separate post. In some of my videos, it was hard to hear me, so I decided to write a summary of what I wrote with each 1-minute video.
Day #1: Yoga Therapy and Breathing Practice For Stress Management
I go over what is yoga therapy and breathing practice. Please post your thoughts and share with people you think may benefit from this video. FYI: allow the noise at the end of the video to be an opportunity to notice your reaction and connect back to your breath.
Today, I talk about protein. Since I didn't post a video yesterday, I will post another one later today.
The audio wasn't so great for this video so read what I said here --> During my first day of 30 days of stress management, I talked about noticing your breath. Well, for some people noticing their breath can create more stress. If that is is the case for you, I recommend first practicing to connect to a place of sanctuary - it could be real or made up. For me my sanctuary is water or being at the beach and close to the surf. What is your sanctuary? If you don't know, think of a time you felt comfortable, at peace, and completely present or in a flow state. Now think of the colors, temperature, sounds, how your body felt when you were comfortable, at peace, and completely present or in a flow state. You can write down your experience and practice connecting to this sanctuary on daily basis or whenever is appropriate for you. Practice makes permanent, so the more you practice the more you will sense the difference when you are relaxed and at peaces verses stressed.
Day #4: Breathing for More Energy and Stress Management
Today I want to focus on how to use your breath to increase your energy level - part of what creates vitality! Sometime we can feel more stress because we feel tired. One quick way to increase your energy is by elongated your inhalation. The caveat here is not to feel more tension or rushed on your next exhalation. If you feel that way, decrease your inhalation count or go back to your normal breath. If you have questions, post them here.
Get your daily direct natural light - appropriate for you! Natural light not only can boost your vitamin D levels, but can lower your blood pressure, which is associated with feeling relaxed and more. Go check out my blog at angelesrios.com to find out more information on the benefits of getting direct natural light. One caveat to direct natural light is to get enough, but not too much that your skin burns - I talk more about this part in my post on my blog. Any questions? Feel free to ask on my blog or here! I will do my best to answer what I can.
Get outside and enjoy whatever nature you can! Not that we need proof, but studies now show that getting outside and being in nature can promote wellbeing. Today, I found a bit of nature in urban San Francisco. It is sunny here and hope it is sunny where you are or whatever weather that works for you.
Last night I wanted to video what I ate for dinner, but the lighting wasn't good so here it is... part of my dinner for breakfast. What makes this a stress management topic is that I added ACV and included fiber, which can help people better manage their blood sugar. Managing my blood sugars helps me manage my stress better. Adding ACV helps me able to eat a bit more carbs that is appropriate amount so that I can get better sleep and be productive too. Everybody will respond differently to fiber, ACV, and carbs, so it is important to be mindful of how they work in tandem together. If you are curious to learn more, I highly recommend checking out @dasrobbwolf new book called Wired To Eat. He goes over how to measure your blood sugar response to different foods. If you have more questions, feel free to post here.
Self-touch is a practice that can help reduce stress, calm the nervous system, and reduce tension if practiced appropriately. One way to practice self touch is to use a pinky ball or some type of tennis ball. I use this pinky ball to help my clients rebalance their neuromuscular system. If you want to figure out a program on what will work for you, please talk with an appropriate practitioner who can help you figure out one that is best and safe for you. If you have questions, please ask away today.
Have you heard propriomuscular facilitation - also called PNF? In yoga therapy and yoga classes, it used to promote more range in motion and relaxation. Some examples of PNF include cat-to-cow, vinayasa flow, and chakravakasana. By the end of session, you will know you did the appropriate workout if you feel more pliable, centered, and relaxed. If you have specific question on this topic, let me know. I plan to take these questions into account in more videos on this topic.
Last evening, I was too tired to do a video. What I did do was practice yoga nidra - a form of deep relaxation or what some people call yogi sleep. It is a form of guided meditation that allows one self to let go of their defense mechanisms and be in a state that connects them to their 'true nature' or wholebeing. The best way to understand this practice is to do it - words doesn't capture the fullness of this practice like how words or concepts do not capture all of life. I have some iPhone meditation recordings on my website; go to menu -> offerings -> meditation section. I plan to do more if I get a 'hell ya' from you.
Happy 4th of July! Fireworks sure are beautiful, but for some animals and people they can increase stress - showing how the intensity and types of sound can impact us individually. Depending on my mood and activities I am doing, a type of sound will have a different effect. When I feel anxious, I like hearing soothing voices like Tara Brach (www.tarabrach.com). When I am in the mode of pushing myself in exercise, I like dance music. The sound of birds singing could be soothing while hiking, but at 5AM could be annoying. I guess my point is that you can regulate your stress levels by adapting to or changing the sounds you hear.
My phone ran out of juice yesterday, so I am doing two videos today. The first topic is on the practice of gratitude. Gratitude is a positive mindset practice that can reduce stress. For me, I am grateful to be able to walk and move better after changing my diet and lifestyle. There was a time that I could only walk and move with the support of prescription drugs. After changing a lot of my daily habits and more, I can now move with ease and joy - it wasn't easy or quick but was so worth it to me, because movement helps me connect with important people and brings joy and pleasure in my life.
Moving beyond gratitude is sharing your gratitude with your community. Part of feeling less stress is feeling connected and part of a community. I see communicating gratitude is a way to support it. Today, I practiced giving thanks to different people in life who have impacted me. One of them is Seth Godin. After hearing him talk today on a podcast interview, I wanted to email him a thank you for sharing his wisdom. I heard he reads all of his emails, but didn't think he would respond back. Well, he did in a short and sweet way. 😊 Now your turn! Is there someone you can express your gratitude to today?
Noticing your emotions is a form of mindfulness meditation - meaning it is a practice that can help provide you with more information so you can make wiser decisions.
You can start by labeling the emotions you are feelings. If you are not sure what they are, you can start to notice where you are feeling your emotions - iike your chest or neck. You can then explore sensing the intensity of your emotion (ex. Is it a 1 or 10?) If you notice yourself wandering into a story or something else, notice that wandering and gently come back to noticing the feeling in your body again. At any point, if this feels too stressful and not beneficial, know that you can always practice connecting to your sanctuary or stop. Overtime, you will develop more stamina just like with mindful breathing or any type of exercise.
I wanted to bring this practice up today, because in hindsight I got caught in my emotions while on bart today when being stuck in an already stuffed train while one person was trying to get in. I am very sensitive about people touching my lower back since I am still working on healing it and have had a lot of pain in the past there, so when this person started pushing on this area, I freaked out and pushed her back. I told her that I have back pain and she responded back that it did not seem like I did. For folks with invisible injuries, you understand how insensitive and frustrating this situation can be... Okay now back to the story. Before I responded back again, I realized that I was hooked into my emotion and fully present with my whole being and situation, so just did the best I could to not physically and verbally react and engage more with this person who appeared to not be curious about how we could better understand and respond to this uncomfortable situation. In hindsight, I realized I should have just stepped off bart and just waited a 1/2 hour - when it would be less congested from the delays and commuting hours - when I would have been more relaxed and able to better cope with any other possible delays and uncomfortable situations.
Hi! Today, I like to talk about restorative sleep. I see restorative sleep as a sign of quality sleep. And quality sleep is important for managing stress, reducing sugar cravings, accidents, and more.
Some ways you help yourself get restorative sleep is by practicing meditation, eating appropriate amounts of nutrients - be it macros (carbs, proteins, fats) to micronutrients (ex. antioxidants and vitamins), working on your circadian rhythms (getting enough natural light during the day and avoid blue light 2-4 hours before you go to bed, appropriate amount of exercise (ran out of time to say this part...) and more than I can explain in this short video.
Stay hydrated! Water is important for energy metabolism and when you don't drink the appropriate amount, you can become dehydrated or what is called hypohydration. Hypohydration is associated with headaches, reduced attention span, lower athletic performance and cognitive function, anxiety, and - in extreme cases - death or unconsciousness - particular with the elderly. Hot weather and exercise can increase your need for water. And being older than 50 can increase your risk in experiencing dehydration. Knowing this information, make sure you are drinking adequate amount of water.
Day #17 - #30...
I plan to add days #18-#30 in future separate posts. I am thinking it might then be easy to find them.