A little Spring Cleaning on the inside can change your life! One of the easiest ways to live mindfully and overcome your stress is to do some inner spring cleansing.
Just remember the acronym S-P-R-I-N-G
Rid your mind of pesky inner cob webs! The opposite of stress is serenity. Your body experiences the relaxation response where blood pressure and heart rate drop and the immune system gets a boost: Meditation eases pain by reducing the brain’s response to pain; Affirmations reduce stress hormone (cortisol) levels; Listening to music releases a calming chemical (serotonin) into the body; and, laughter increases artery diameter by 22% (chronic stress reduces it by 35 %).
Rest for a minute and reflect on your life. A pause throughout your busy day downloads your brain and body’s stress. Take a few seconds to text, call or email a loved one. Sit and be silent. Take a few minutes to calm your mind and release your stress.
Create renewal rituals to energize your mind and body. Set aside time just for you or for family togetherness. Eat a meal together (at home or out), take a bath or read a book before bedtime – create events to look forward to throughout the week. The simple expectation of a night out or time alone/together creates anticipation and fosters a shared sense of excitement.
Polish your purpose to a high shine. Listen to what ignites your passion, energy and love. Listen to what drains you, distracts you, and irritates you. These are clues to becoming more aware of what you love and what stresses you. You may not control many of the circumstances in your life, but you can choose your attitude and intentions in response to circumstances. Create the mindful life you desire.
Sweep your worries out the door- literally! Get outside. Take the time to re-connect with nature. Planting a beautiful garden can be a great way to relieve stress! Whether you have a small patio to decorate, or a vast amount of space to tend, the act of making your particular stretch of nature into a haven can be a stress reliever in itself, and the garden that you create can bring you even more peace. Just being outside, basking in the sunlight (get your vitamin D!), and enjoying the beauty of your surroundings will make your spirits rise.
Dust off your working clothes and discover a place to visit monthly to cultivate your altruism, or “helper’s high.” Teach your children the value of helping others and create a family bond. You could help an animal shelter with cages and maintenance once a month, join Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a needy family in your community, or volunteer at a women and children’s shelter where you can cook, play or read with the children.