We tend to find ourselves using the word “stressed” more often than we would like. With the pressures that come along with having a job, finding a job, or keeping a job, it can be hard enough to just keep things straight, not to mention finding a minute alone to be at peace with your thoughts.
Whether it’s walking your dog, going for a run, or singing in the shower, everyone deals with stress in his or her own way. Shayna Hiller, a NYC based Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Yoga Instructor, sat down with StyleCaster to talk about effective ways to reduce the stress in your life and keep yourself stress-free.
“Yoga has given me the opportunity to be more aware about how my choices influence the world. Yoga has transformed me into an individual. I now can tell the difference between me and my mind. When the body is open, the mind is open.”
Hiller recommends a mental or written checklist to ease your tension. Doing this makes it easier to keep track of what you need to accomplish, and as you check off each item you can feel the weight lifting off your shoulders.
Hiller explains that becoming more aware of your body and mind, as well as focusing on breathing are two key ingredients to help reduce stress. “Take some time so sit quietly with your eyes closed and focus on your breath. Notice the sensations in your body and mind, and accept them as they are.”
She also recommends the yoga pose Viparita Karani or elevating your legs up on a wall when your thoughts are consuming you (especially before bed at night). This pose promotes deep relaxation by slowing the rhythm of the heart, which reduces stress. Going to bed de-stressed will help aid your sleep patterns and contribute to a healthy stress-free lifestyle.
Hiller suggests stocking your fridge with green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and swiss chard. “These veggies contain natural enzymes that decrease levels of depression and enhance serotonin levels in the brain, which promote a state of relaxed happiness,” Hiller says.
The most important piece of advice Hiller gives is to be kind to others. “Try to compliment a complete stranger once a day. You will be surprised how amazing it will make you feel to make someone else happy. If you are in traffic and someone is reacting with anger, smile. (This takes work, but once you master it, it is priceless).
For more information from Shayna Hiller visit her website at shaynayoga.com.