Whether we are single, married, in a relationship, have kids and/or pets, we all need to decompress from our day. Even if we had a good day, our brains have been busy working – figuring out solutions to problems and maintaining balance for all systems in the body – in fact, when we go to sleep, our brains don’t really get a break. It’s still figuring out and processing everything from the day, month, year.
According to an article from Scientific American, “MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s ‘fight or flight’ center, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress.” In other words, if you did have a stressful day, your brain/nervous system could still be coming down from all that stimulation or still going.
So here are 3 simple tips to help decompress at the end of the day. I’m not joking when I say it can take 5 minutes. Come on you have 5 minutes don’t you?
1) Take out a piece of paper or in your journal, and do a brain dump. What’s a brain dump? Everything that’s on your mind at that moment – things from your to-do list you did or didn’t do, what your boss/coworker/husband/wife/child said to you earlier that day and the response you “couldn’t” use, those thoughts you have about your teenager’s behavior, etc. You know. All that chatter in the mind.
2) Move your body. Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks, yoga, dance, something to move the tension out. It doesn’t have to be strenuous.
3) Sit quietly and breath. Find a place where you won’t be interrupted. Turn your phone off or silence it. Take 5 deep FULL belly breaths. If you don’t like silence, there are some awesome apps you can download to your phone that can guide you. I use Insight App.
Sometimes TV is a way to decompress and that’s fine, but it doesn’t give your brain a break whatsoever. Let yourself shutdown or log off for a few and you will feel renewed!