So you want to live a stress-free and healthier life. But where to start? The options seem endless and overwhelming. When you’re not sure what direction to go, start small. You don’t have to revamp your whole life all at once. You can embark upon the journey toward a healthier and stress-free lifestyle simply by incorporating any of these 5 healthy habits into your life today.
1. Practice conscious breathing. When you feel anxious, you disrupt the ease and flow of your breath. Reestablishing normal breathing restores your energy and focus. To do this — blow all of the air out of your lungs, pushing and squeezing it out with your stomach muscles. Go much farther than you think you can. When you have nothing left Inhale deeply through your nose, expanding the belly first (not the chest area) for a count of 4. Hold the breath at the top of the inhale for a 7-count. Release the breath through your mouth, slowly controlling the exhale for an 8-count. Repeat this 3 times. Feel the bliss and notice how relaxed you feel.
2. Fix your posture. Proper posture — with the spine aligned and the joints stacked — puts your body at ease, reduces tension and strain and ensures that muscles and tissues are well oxygenated and receive nutrients for proper function. To do this — first aligning the outside edges of your feet with a straightedge. Then make sure your feet are hip-distance apart. Press all four corners of your feet into the ground. Make sure your pelvis is over your heels. Engage your thighs to lift your kneecaps, squeeze your glutes, keep you chest lifted with the bottom ribs tucked in, and keep your head in a neutral position with chin slightly tucked.
3. Dry brush your skin. Take care of your body’s largest organ — your skin. Dry brushing is a natural technique that can reveal the beauty of your skin by sloughing off dead skin cells as it stimulates the lymphatic system. To do this — purchase a dry brush with natural bristles. Start at your feet and brush in long, sweeping motions toward your heart (avoiding the face) without applying too much pressure. Don’t dry brush for too long or too often. Try just a few minutes once a week.
4. Set an intention. When you want to break out of your comfort zone or start a new healthy habit, you must first have a strong intention to do so. The power of intention is the power to manifest, to create, to live a life of unlimited abundance, and to attract into your life the right people at the right moments. You can set an intention for every action in your life. Before eating, set an intention to eat mindfully. Before working out, connect to your intention. Ask yourself, “What are you aiming to achieve?”
5. Drink Matcha Tea. If you’re desperate to find your Zen but also need to stay on your game to get everything done, a cup of organic matcha tea may be just what the stress doctor ordered. Not only does matcha make you feel calm and alert at the same time, but it’s loaded with antioxidants. This powdered green tea contains high levels of L-theanine, an amino acid proved to have both psychological and physiological anti-stress qualities. Make sure to buy a bamboo whisk called a chasen to prepare it correctly.