Can I change my posture?

Change your mindset

Courses on various relaxation techniques (progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, mindfulness training, yoga ...) are currently very popular and can be booked from numerous providers. Numerous studies show that the relaxation methods mentioned not only help subjectively, but also lead to objectively measurable changes.

Many health insurance companies pay for attending the courses at least in part. If these techniques work for you: wonderful! Or maybe you are one of those people who makes your hair stand on end at the thought of further obligations. In this case, attending a course might even be counterproductive: stress management itself becomes stress. What you are missing is not necessarily relaxation, but rather a relaxed (more) relaxed approach to the demands of everyday life. You may be interested in other approaches:

Mindfulness training: Mindfulness training is about perceiving the moment with attention, but not judging, instead of fleeing worries and thoughts. Confirmed knowledge that structured mindfulness training has a positive effect on health is now available for so-called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Here, too, it is a structured course that has fixed dates. You can also easily incorporate elements of mindfulness into your everyday life. You can find a wealth of guided mindfulness meditations on the internet. Or you just use what is available to you anyway: your breath!

Conscious abdominal breathing is a simple and effective way of inner centering. As already described, stress changes the breathing behavior - shallow and short breathing is typical. A change in breathing technique can therefore have a major effect, especially with stressed people. Deep breathing into the abdomen is the healthiest way to breathe. It uses less energy than chest breathing, lowers blood pressure and promotes relaxation. In addition, there is a drastic improvement in oxygen uptake, as the lung volume increases two to three times and the smallest areas of the lungs are optimally ventilated. Oxygen is by far our most important source of energy. With its help, the energy from meals is burned off. Without a healthy supply of oxygen and the exhalation of acids (carbon dioxide), the metabolism slows down and over-acidification occurs. Inhaling is the most important energy supply, and exhaling is the most important deacidification measure. But the internal organs also benefit from deep abdominal breathing: They are massaged and digestion is promoted.

Five Minute Breathing Exercise: Once in the afternoon when you get tired, and before going to sleep, do a simple breathing exercise: place your hands on your stomach, focus on your navel, and deliberately and slowly breathe deeply into your stomach and again out. The stomach must protrude clearly and press against the hands. You will be amazed how much better you can fall asleep, how your body and mind feel much more comfortable and relaxed through abdominal breathing and how you can relax and recharge your batteries!

Self Compassion: The Self Compassion approach developed by Dr. Kristin Neff, in addition to mindfulness, has two other aspects: a compassionate rather than judgmental approach to ourselves and the perception of the fact that we are not alone, but share our suffering with other people.

You can train a compassionate relationship with yourself through various exercises. When you worry, ask yourself: what would a good friend tell you now? Certainly nothing like: “Nobody likes you anyway!” Talk to yourself as you would talk to a good friend. Another possibility is to review difficult situations of the day in a diary and to find words of comfort for yourself.

Gratitude: People who are grateful for what they have are better able to cope with stress. Effects on cortisol and testosterone levels have been proven, among other things. Here's how you can express gratitude:

  • —— Write someone a card to say thank you for a gift, or leave a sticky note on the bathroom mirror for your partner. ——
  • Smile and hug yourself - and others. ——
  • Say “please” and “thank you” and mean it. Make eye contact instead of just muttering "thank you" when someone holds the door for you. ——
  • If you are religious, prayer is a wonderful way to show gratitude.

Also, pay attention to how many of the stressors you have perceived actually exist and which only arise from your thoughts! Some people are real masters at dealing with stressful situations, such as For example, paint a conflict with an uncomfortable colleague so vividly that you can physically feel the effects. Others can get caught in spirals of worry, in which constant thinking about a problem causes at least as much stress as the problem itself. Those who become aware of these mechanisms have often already taken the first step towards reducing stress.

The thought goes in the same direction that anger, stress and dissatisfaction arise when you have an exact idea of ​​what a person or a work product (or yourself!) Should be like, but this idea differs from reality. A more relaxed, open attitude and a more loving approach to yourself can work wonders here. It is not about having no more goals, but simply about calmly accepting failure or deviations from the objective. In this respect, serenity differs significantly from relaxation.