Tap into your inner zen master

TAP INTO YOUR INNER ZEN MASTER

Stress is mental, but it’s surprisingly physical too. In fact, there are things you can do physically to relieve stress. And no, downward dog isn’t your only option. Check out these stress-busting techniques for your face, nose, muscles and heart:

FACE

We hold a lot of our stress above the neck, and simply contracting and relaxing your facial muscles helps relieve the strain. So make a crazy face, hold it tight for 15 seconds, release, then do it again. Try not to do this in public because people will stare at you. Actually, that could be fun.

inner zen
inner zen nose

NOSE

Your sense of smell may not seem like a great stress reliever. But with over 40 million sensory receptors in the nose, designed to carry information directly to the brain, different scents can have a huge impact on your physiological and emotional states. Calming or invigorating scents can have an impact on your well-being, as proven by a noticeably lower heart rate.

MUSCLES

One good reason to take a hot shower in the morning (besides basic hygiene of course) is that the water temperature and pressure can help relieve muscle tension. It can also help improve your orienting reflex (your ability to respond immediately to different stimuli). Shower with a relaxing shower gel to get your skin feeling clean and refreshed, leaving you ready to face the day.

inner zen muscles

HEART

Heart rate and blood pressure are great indicators of your stress level – almost as accurate as a red face, the shakes and steam coming out from your ears. Hot water comes in handy here too. It increases your heart rate while lowering your blood pressure, mimicking the benefits of exercise without the cardiovascular stress. Alternating between hot and cold water, on the other hand, will increase circulation and perk you up more effectively than a triple espresso.