Caught in the infernal rhythm of our (busy) days between work and private life, we rarely take the time to breathe. Here are 4 antistress tips and tricks to follow to fight anxiety, release the pressure and finally relax!
In the face of anxiety or fatigue that begins to rise, there are multiple quick and effective ways to overcome anxiety and relax. Rebecca Leffler, wellness consultant at the luxury Hotel Mandarin Oriental, and Malati, their yoga teacher, give us their tips to better manage her emotions on a daily basis. Energy-boosting foods, breathing exercises, yoga postures… Do not be afraid, inspire a good shot and discover their tips and tricks antistress, good for the body, for the mind and for health!
1. Breathing and meditation: the winning stress duo
This may seem banal but we tend to forget it: breathing is an antistress remedy. So, inhale deeply through the nose, and then exhale all the air through the mouth. Repeat at least three times. This will relax the body and mind in a matter of seconds. When your exhalation is a little longer than inhalation, a signal is sent to the brain to increase the parasympathetic nervous system and decrease the sympathetic system, responsible for increasing the heart rate and sending stress hormones like cortisol. When the parasympathetic system is activated, the heart and breathing are slowed down, blood pressure decreases, and installs the whole body is in a state of calm.
© Provided by ELLE yoga-posture-Sukhasana
To meditate, start with breathing exercises (pranayama). Just sit cross-legged with your back straight and take a calm and deep breath for a few minutes. Named sukhasana in yoga, this exercise is ideal to start your practice. Then take great inspiration through the nose (the mouth remains closed throughout the exercise), hold your breath, and exhale slowly. If you are stiff on your back, sit against a wall so that you have no tension. Repeat several times and put an intention in it, that of emptying your head of negative thoughts. Keep it up until you feel calm and light. Keep your eyes closed and meditate on your inner sensations.
2. Move to overcome stress
Running, walking in the corridors of the subway, doing a yoga retreat or just doing 5 minutes at home, doing 20 rehearsals of 100 push-ups, or carrying your 2-year-old child several times a day… The main thing is to make the heartbeat and stretch the muscles! This helps to boost morale, fight anxiety and depression, promote sleep, improve the proper functioning of the heart and lungs, increase flexibility, maintain balance, tone the body, fight fatigue, decrease the risk of several cardiovascular diseases (for our health), and of course to strengthen! So run, stretch, box, stroll, dance, jump, and above all don’t forget to laugh: it’s great for abs! In the meantime, zoom in on some simple exercises to do at home and on a daily basis.
© Provided by ELLE yoga-posture-Uttanasana
Do the uttanasana yoga posture: stand up, raise your arms and inhale. At the time of exhalation, lean forward while keeping your legs well stretched. Grab the back of your ankles or calves and bend your elbows to bring your bust as forward as possible. Stay so breathing through the nose and count 5 times. One day, your face will touch your knees!
Do the dog’s posture upside down
© Provided by ELLE yoga-posture-dog-head-down-Adho mukha Svanasana
In yoga, this posture is called Adho mukha svanasana (which can be translated as the posture of the dog that stretches towards the ground). Flex your knees, lay your hands on the ground and walk back until you form a pyramid; Lay your hands flat and release your head, back straight, hips to the sky, and heels to the ground. Release your tensions for 5 breaths.
Make the candle
© Provided by ELLE yoga-posture-Sukhasana
For Sarvangasana or candle posture, lie on your back, bring your knees back to you, lay your hands flat on your hips and push exhaling to bring your straight legs back to the ceiling. Support the lower back. Your neck should be flat and with your chin down. Stay for a few breaths to activate blood circulation and irrigate your heart. This will soothe your ailments and give you a feeling of well-being.
© Provided by ELLE yoga-posture-Balasana
For Balasana or the child’s posture, lay your knees on the ground as well as your head in front of you. Feel your arms forward and let go of this posture for as long as you want. It’s a great pose to let go and listen to your emotions.
© Provided by ELLE Yoga-Posture-Shavasana
You have well deserved the Shavasana posture or that of the dead body which is synonymous with letting go. Lie on your back, legs slightly open, feet facing outwards, arms peeled off your body, and palms of hands facing the sky. Tighten your shoulder blades to make you small cozy cushions. Close your eyes and take your breath from the beginning. Inhale by counting up to 2. Hold your breath by counting up to 2 and exhale slowly by counting up to 4. Feel this feeling of heaviness invade you and ignore all your senses… You can even fall asleep!
3. Antistress: the role of hydration and diet
The body, made up of 60% water, needs it to eliminate toxins, oxygenate cells, help digestion, and give energy. But hydrating is not just about carrying a bottle of water all day long! Eat fruits and vegetables rich in water, vitamins, and minerals. If you find it difficult to swallow liters of water (filtered), drink a green smoothie, vegetable juice, coconut water, detox water infused with fresh herbs or cucumber, soup, broth, or a daily detox drink (a lemon squeezed in hot water).
You can also try this special “stress-free” green smoothie recipe from the book “Green, glam & gourmand” (Editions Marabout) by Rebecca Leffler: in a Vitamix, mix 200 ml of coconut water, 1 tablespoon of almond puree (without sugar), a pinch of vanilla powder, a pinch of cinnamon powder, a pinch of fresh or powdered ginger, 1/2 cucumber, 50 g of seasonal fruits to choose from (blueberries, figs, apples …), a handful of greens to choose from (spinach, romaine, salad …) or 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina powder and 1 banana or 1/4 of avocado. Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder (an energizing Japanese tea that helps with concentration and awakens metabolism).
Eat stress-proof foods
Know it, our belly is our second brain. 90% of Serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter responsible for our feeling of well-being, is found in the gut. It is, therefore, necessary to pay attention to how the body absorbs and assimilates what we eat. In the morning, get up a few minutes earlier before sitting down for breakfast (even if it means eating it at the office). Prefer foods rich in slow carbohydrates, fiber, omega 3, proteins, vitamins, especially vitamin D (its lack can promote seasonal depression) and vitamin C (to boost immunity and give energy), not to mention magnesium, an extraordinary antistress mineral.
You can draw from these antistress foods: banana (potassium), quinoa (protein), avocado (vitamin E), sweet potato (beta-carotene), almonds (magnesium), Brazil nuts (selenium), tahini (calcium), matcha (L-theanine), chocolate (antioxidants), chia and hemp seeds (omega 3) and of course the green vegetables of your choice (spinach, Roman salad, kale, fresh herbs…).
4. Reduce stress through sleep
Sleep should not be a luxury, it is essential for our well-being! A good night’s sleep reduces anxiety and allows our body and brain to be in shape to attack everything we have to do during the day. So good night!