Stress, the pain of all our lives. Little did I know some simple rituals could be the cure to all my stress related problems…
My 8am alarm call sounds and every morning I wonder the same thing. Why am I not jumping out of bed with a spring in my step? Instead I crawl slowly, disappointed and full of stress. My body aches and my mind is full of thoughts.. I don’t feel like this is a fresh day and I definitely don’t know where my 9 hours of sleep went.
I have to admit I just accepted this. I accepted that I felt tired every morning, accepted that stress was getting the better of me and instead of finding out why, I ignored it. I carried on with my fatigue, weird eating patterns and my fuzzy mind. I did start yoga, if I could find twenty minutes in my jam-packed day, I would sit and watch someone tell me how to breathe and move my body. It worked to an extent, but I could never truly shut my brain down. All the time I am thinking, wondering, hoping that the twenty minutes is up and I can get back to work. Hey there, self employment and hey stress.
Then, popped an email. At first, I’ll admit, I was doubtful.. but at the same time, I had hope. Maybe this could help, and let me tell you – it did.
In my inbox lay an email explaining the HAYO’U Method. This method is a new health and wellbeing programme inspired by the wisdom of ancient Chinese Medicine and created by the wonderful Katie Brindle. It consisted of some morning rituals that take just minutes yet can improve your health going forward. I was invited to explore into this method further and have a Skype call with Katie herself, so she could explain the method in depth and boy, did I learn a lot.
The one thing from our conversation that mainly stuck in my mind was that if you don’t brush your teeth for one evening, they won’t fall out. However, if you don’t brush them for a few months, you’ll have a problem. Katie explained that HAYO’U is all about prevention. Rather than going to the doctor and getting the usual western medicine to treat a problem you already have, the HAYO’U method prevents the problem from arising in the first place.
By eliminating stress, you eliminate any future illnesses. Just like brushing your teeth, if you stick at it daily, you’ll improve your health.
So, how do you do this?
The 1 minute morning ritual
Katie has created some short and simple, one-minute rituals that can be slipped into your busy routine. As she states, little and often is better than not at all and these small steps will help your future. Simply take just a few minutes the moment you step out of bed to do these rituals and after a few weeks you’ll be jumping out, trust me – it works.
The first is something we do everyday without thinking, it keeps us alive and is the biggest stress reliever, we don’t even know it. Breathing. Yes, you heard right. Breathing is the antidote to your stress. It helps with childbirth (I have a lot of Mum friends and this always amazes me) so I was well aware of how important it is to breathe correctly, when needed. Breathing deeply makes it harder for acidity to thrive which triggers immediate reversal of stress levels. Next time you’re having a relaxing bath, empty your mind by taking some deep breathes. Instantly you’ll feel more refreshed.
Part of the One minute morning ritual is shaking. Whilst it’s not something we automatically associate with eliminating stress or waking ourselves up, it works. Shaking wakes up your circulation, your muscles and clears out any stagnation. Shake out your whole body, top to bottom, If you feel silly, pop on some some music, that way you’re basically dancing. For more information and a video on how to do this, click here.
Do some ‘Twisst’s’
Twisting stimulates your kidneys and wakes those digestive organs. Simply twist at the waist, swinging your arms so your hands slap your front and back, at kidney level. This loosens the spine and shoulders (brilliant if you’re stress levels send these areas into tense-city like mine!) increases blood flow and improves your digestive function. Basically say goodbye to stored tension. This one is my favourite, and I promise it’s not just because of the name!
Time for the Drum
This type of drumming wakes up your body’s energetic circulation. With a loose fist, pat down outside and up on the inside of the legs and arms, abdomen, lower back and your head. Drumming your body in this way will release muscles, joints and move any toxicity. It will also improve the function of your internal organs, which sounds good enough for me! I’d recommend watching how to do this one, once you know, you’ll love it.
Aim for prevention
So there we have it, some simple steps you can take everyday to make sure you de-stress. Admittedly it may be difficult to see how these simple rituals can help you personally, but I have been doing these for a few months now and I already feel the benefits. Nobody is immune.
Most people find Chinese Medicine mysterious and unfamiliar, myself included. However, speaking to Katie was a real eye-opener. She has definitely left me extremely intrigued and excited by Chinese medicine and the various methods I can take to take control of my own health. If you want more posts like this please do let me know as it’s definitely something I’m super interested in exploring.
This post is in collaboration with HAYO’U but I can promise you that all views are my own.