There is a lot of pressure in many peoples lives to rush around all day and tell people how busy they are. Busy is like a badge of honour, almost a status symbol in todays culture. If you are busy, you must be super important, you must be loved and you must have a purpose. Some people are so afraid of not being busy, that the second they get some down time they immediately have to populate those spare minutes with social media, tv or a number of other time filling activities, never able to experience what it is like to just be. We know stress is not good for us, yet we constantly strive to do more, be more, achieve more. I feel there is a revolution slowly happening, where people don’t want that for their lives anymore. It’s just not working.
I am a big believer that you can do more with less. For me, I have actively ramped down my busyness in favour of a more relaxed way of life. Previously, I was constantly on edge, angry, frustrated, stressed and unhappy because I felt I had to please a lot of people by running around frantically to get everything in my life done. After years of living like this, I was tired of feeling this way and what happened next really redefined who I am and how I lived my life. I came across ‘Rushing Woman’s Syndrome‘ by Dr Libby Weaver and couldn’t put it down. It really was a turning point for my life and was exactly the thing I needed to bring back the balance both mentally and physically. Today I’m going to share on my top 3 tips from her book for making yourself more zen.
Benefits of living in a calm state include but are not limited to:
Burning fat instead of sugar
Clear thinking and mental functions
Increased paitence and kindness towards others
Increased happiness and feeling of fulfilment
1. Drink camomile tea. This one is not just for old ladies and hippies – this daisy look-a-like herb is scientifically proven to provide a natural sedative effect which can both relax and relieve anxiety. I often take cup of camomile into meetings which help me remain calm and relaxed even if the meeting is not. Not only do I find this works well in those situations, it is great to be able you give yourself some mental space throughout the day as well.
Even better: Replace coffee with camomile. If you drink more than one cup of coffee a day, substitute just one cup of coffee with tea. Even consider taking a month off coffee. Just one, tiny, little month. It’s often what you resist the most that you really need.
2. Turn your lights down low. Bright lights before bed time mess with your natural circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm isn’t a fancy dance move, think of it as your bodies on and off cycle for sleeping. Consider this, we have had electricity for less than 200 years out of the entire history of humankind – which is over 6 or 7 million years long. In percentages, only .003% of our time on earth has existed with electricity – so as you can imagine, our bodies haven’t had time to evolve to keep up with these changes. Keeping lights to a minimum (including iPads, phones, TVs and computers) can help your body wind down for bed as light kills our sleepiness chemicals (because our bodies think light means daylight and that we need to keep awake to go hunting). As we have all experienced, it’s hard to be your best happy self, if your quality of sleep is not there, and this is one small easy way to encourage that.
Even better: Get to bed early, ideally before 10:30pm. Wonderful things happen when we go to sleep early, the balancing of our nervous systems, the regulating of cortisol and so much more. This is the best way we can give our digestive system the space it needs to focus on all our beautiful bits too – there is a reason it’s called beauty sleep.
3. Take 20 deep yoga breaths. Deep long breaths tell your body you are safe and enables you to live in a place of calm instead of one from adrenalin. It seems easy, and it really is. Giving yourself space to do this is really one of the quickest ways to get your stress under control.
Even better: Take time to meditate – even 10 minutes a day is beneficial to helping you relax and keep calm. The other day for the first time in 4 months I felt like a drink after a tough day at work, however after 10 minutes of peaceful meditation, the day was gone, perspective was restored and any need for a crutch was gone. Amazing! Sometimes, your body just wants permission to relax and this is one way to do this. You’ll learn tons about yourself during meditation. You don’t need to be a Buddhist monk or master yogi to be able to meditate, just start small and practice makes perfect.
Small changes can lead to big gains, living life from a calm state can make all the difference in how you live your life. If you want to find out more about the science behind this, as well as many more tips, I recommend reading Dr Libby’s ‘Rushing Woman’s Syndrome‘. You don’t have to do everything in her book to realise to benefits, but if you’re like me, the small changes made such a difference you might want to try them all!