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Stress Management: How to do deep abdominal breathing

Stress Management: HowTo Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Stress Management: How to Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.” The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life. We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen. And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying. Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga (Mother Trucker Yoga’s Membership) to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe. I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. 

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Breathing is a tool. Those that learn to harness the device and tap into its vast abilities to improve, help and even heal the body get to reap the benefits of increased vitality, health, and happiness. But time and time again, I have observed others choose pills, alcohol, and even violence to manage what we all call stress or our emotions rather than tap into this tool we are all born with and have access to us at any given time. 

Stress can alter just about any system in the body if we allow it to. 

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

  • Raise our blood pressure
  • Increase our heart rate
  • Increase our body temperature
  • Leave us in physical pain
  • Can decrease our immune system
  • Give us stomach discomfort
  • Make it difficult to sleep
  • Can affect your libido 
  • Tense your muscles 
  • Cause weight gain 
  • Burden your nervous system
  • Leave shallow breathing

When is the last time you felt the effects of any of the above and thought you should practice deep breathing? 

When my oldest son was small, and he’d get stressed out, the first thing I would have him do is deep breathing. Three deep breaths, I’d say, and we’d do them together. He’s now nearly a teenager, and I have observed him repeatedly defaulting to deep breathing when he is stressed, angry, frustrated, or can’t sleep. He automatically uses this incredible tool we all walk around with every day but rarely tap use voluntarily. 

The average American breathes with less than 18% of their lung capacity. That’s what I like to call clavicle breathing. It’s no wonder we are a stressed-out, upset, unhealthy out of touch society. I say these are the very things I have felt before yoga and learning how to tap into my breathing. And the same things I think when I’m not in my body, using my breathing, and feeling grounded in my skin. 

How do we breathe?

The average person takes about ten breaths per minute; that’s an average of 22,000-24,000 breaths per day. That’s a lot of breathing. And when we breathe, we inhale necessary oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and toxins that our body wants to remove. When we breathe, our lungs expand and take in air, and our diaphragm lowers and expands as well, taking in oxygen to then be distributed out to the millions of cells throughout our body that need that fresh oxygen to live. 

Dr. James Hoyt, a pulmonologist, says, “Our respiratory muscles don’t have the luxury of being out of shape.” Yet how many people can say with certainty that they use them, work them, build them like their bicep regularly? There is a saying, “use it or lose it,” and it fits here with our breathing. 

 A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

And, also nearly every system in the body is connected to our respiratory system or breathing. 

  • Our metabolism increases when we practice deep breathing.
  • Our autonomic nervous system regulates when we deep breathe.
  • Our digestion can settle and improve when deep breathing.
  • Our muscles relax and get total oxygen, helping them not to cramp.
  • Our lymphatic systems become stimulated, hand and hand, with our immune system, both stimulated when we breathe.
  • Our body is fully oxygenated when we deep breathe.

And one of our deep breathing’s most impressive features is that it stimulates our vegas nerve. 

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs. It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve. We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders. The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! BREATHING IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: Those that breathe only into the upper chest, throat, and shoulders. These breathers often have lifted shoulders and a tense neck. 

Chest Breathers: Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: Those that breathe deep into the belly and feel their lungs and abdomen expand freely. 

We have forgotten our unique ability to help and heal ourselves. When you were a baby, no one had to tell you how to breathe, yet there you were, breathing so deeply that your entire torso was expanding and contracting every breath you took. I have listened and watched my children as infants, and now adolescents get upset and even cry only to default to their breathing to calm them down. It’s in you; you have done it; you have just forgotten how to do it. 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

  1. Sitting tall or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart/chest. 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and hear your breath move out of your body. 
  3. Inhale through your nose and move your breath deeply into your lower hand (belly) and feel it expand. Continue to move your breath up to notice your upper hand (chest) rise. 
  4. Exhale slowly move the air out, feeling your belly collapse and your chest lower (in any order). 
  5. Soften your jaw and relax your body, focus on fully emptying your belly when you exhale and fully expanding when you inhale. 
  6. Work yourself up towards a count of four counts on the inhale and eight on the exhale. 
  7. Repeat this for two to five minutes. 
  8. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. 
  9. Allow yourself to hear your breath each time you inhale and exhale. 

How to do deep abdominal breathing

Continue this practice daily in the morning to wake up, when you are feeling stressed, waiting in traffic (minus the hands-on your body), or before you go to sleep to help you relax. 

You have tools to help you breathe, relax, fall asleep. The real question is, are you using them? 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

 Various deep abdominal breathing forms have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, including increased blood flow and improved blood pressure. Deep breathing is also a helpful tool for relaxation and sleep. Taking deep breaths can also help you manage stress and improve cognitive function like brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

If every tool you are reaching for is outside of yourself, let me ask you, have you tried the tools you were born with? The tools you were given and are the very tools that make this life possible? The tool I am talking about is your breathing. 

Try This:

For one week, practice deep abdominal breathing at least one time a day. Work to practice it at the same time each day. Set the alarm on your phone or in your calendar and make it a priority. All too often, we say something doesn’t work or help, and we have never really tried it, let alone given it the attention required to see results. 

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. 

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

Resources:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain

https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/

https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n

https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.gov/29593576/

 

10 Quick Ways to Reduce Stress Today

10 Quick Ways to Reduce Stress Today

Living over the road where your home, office, kitchen, and the vehicle is all one can be overwhelming and stressful. Stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. We all know that stress is not suitable for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?

 

Life Is About Choices

 

The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she had made. This is what the letter said:

 

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

 

Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward. 

 

An article that appeared in Medical News Today discusses how “overwhelmed and stress, in common terms, is a feeling people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”

 

You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.

Reduce Stress mother trucker yoga blog post

10 Ways You To Reduce Stress and Overwhelm in Your Life:

  1. Get up a few minutes earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate, and visualize how your day is going to be great.
  2. Allow others to help you. If they did not want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
  3. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern, and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
  4. Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or drink more water and see where it takes you.
  5. Listen to relaxing music or guided meditations (Check out M.T.Y.’s guided meditations made just for drivers). Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, radios, and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
  6. Laugh—every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
  7. Surround yourself with people who lift you rather than tear you down.
  8. Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
  9. Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be helpful, then who will be?
  10. Meditate, pray, practice yoga. When is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back into life? Ensure you check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Online Membership site as drivers just like you can come together and get fit inside and outright from the cab of your truck

Finding the best overwhelm and stress relief strategies may take some time. Do not give up if one doesn’t work; move on and try another. However, it is essential to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs healthily. Keeping stress at a manageable level is vital for your overall well-being. 

Surround yourself with people that support you in your journey and leave those that do not, behind. You will not regret it. Too many people in today’s world have come to normalize stress. Do not be that person. Identify your stress triggers and then take action to dismantle that stress. It may feel like work in the beginning, but in the end, you will feel the effects of a happier, healthier life.

Don’t be that person that wears their stress like a badge of honor and as a result, you are not only unhappy but stuck in life. When I am feeling stressed, stuck, or overwhelmed I get up and get moving. When I do that, I breathe more deeply, my blood circulates, feel-good chemicals and hormones are pumped to my brain and I FEEL BETTER.

The world tries to complicate our health, but I want to simplify it for you. Today, do one thing that makes you feel good. Do one thing that makes you smile. Do one thing that gets you up and moving. I promise you, that you won’t regret it.

mother trucker yoga audio meditation bundle

Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Audio Bundle– so you can de-stress and get back to doing what you need to do, and love to do.

Resources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php

8 Amazing Benefits of dark leafy greens mother trucker yoga blog

8 Amazing Benefits of Eating Dark Leafy Greens

Benefits of Eating Dark Leafy Greens

 

If you ask my kids they will tell you many things, but one thing I have always said since they were young has been:

“Eat your greens; they keep you healthy!”

 Cliché!

Your body needs vegetables, and more importantly, your body needs those dark leafy greens to function optimally. 

But what exactly do we need them for?

Let us have a peek into its potential constituents and their mighty benefits to “make and keep” your body full of health.

Dark Leafy Greens Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Benefits of Leafy Greens

 

For many of us, we know what we should do, but that doesn’t always mean we do it. Knowledge is power and when we can better understand the why beyond the request can we then make a better decision. Greens play a critical role in our body’s functions, if your body is not functioning optionally or even just OK, it may be time for a green tune-up. 

 

Fight off the Oxidative Stress

Antioxidants are currently most abundant among their fellows and are so in trend. Their propensity to fight the harmful free-radicals in our bodies is formidable. They fight the oxidative stress that we encounter in our daily lives through our dietary habits, anxiety, and environmental influence, fights aging by preventing the cellular damage and improves the cell revamp or renewal process.  

 

Dark leafy greens have an abundance of antioxidants (even more than in blueberries), called Flavonoids resting in their Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll also can normalize the production of R.B.C.s, absorb the toxins (e.g., foul breath or body odor), and even fight the carcinogens.

 

Takes Care of Your Gut Health

Dark leafy greens are rich in probiotics which are close friends to our gut flora. The microhabitat, which aids in digestion in our gut feeds on these probiotics. As 90 % of our diseases arise from poor digestion, they help in an overall improvement of health and boost our immune system by potential assimilation of vitamins, minerals, and other necessary nutrients. Get your greens in and improve your gut health with one of my favorite power green smoothie recipes. 

 

Boost Immune System

Dark leafy greens like Spinach and Kale are rich sources of folate, iron, calcium, fiber, Vitamin C, and K. The study has shown their vital role in boosting immunity by creating chemical symbols to stimulate the growth of I.E.L. Cells that regulate our Humoral immunity. 

 

Now some may argue that eating spinach isn’t good for you due to the oxalate found in these greens, my friend and colleague Karen Urbanek HHP argue the opposite: Don’t fear these greens, instead, you can reduce your oxalate levels by cooking and even boiling your veggies! This can reduce anywhere from 30 to 90% of the oxalate content. 

 

Karen also says: “You can also take calcium citrate and magnesium citrate with every meal. Use bitters prior to eating or take B6 to stimulate digestive and enzyme production. If you feel Oxalates have been a major factor, consider getting an Organic Acids test done and read by a professional.” And if you think you are sensitive to oxalate there are dozens of other foods this can be found in, don’t blame spinach, it might be time for a gut overhaul. 

 

Improve vision and Brain Function

Dark leafy greens are full of Phytonutrients like Carotenoids, Restravesol, Curcumin, etc. these phytonutrients have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which are beneficial for our vision and brain health. Phytonutrients are critical for the body because they enhance immunity, and during a time like COVID-19, we need all the help we can get to build immunity naturally. And part of that is ensuring you are getting the necessary nutrition you need from quality foods. 

 

Detoxification

Dark leafy greens like Cilantro, Parsley, and coriander leaves are potent detoxifiers. They help the liver get rid of the toxins and prevent numerous diseases, while parsley is powerful enough to eliminate toxic metals from the bloodstream. May seem a bit odd, but try putting these herbs in your water. Don’t like the taste? Then add a little fresh squeezed lemon, or berries to your water for a refreshing drink. And remember fresh is best, dried herbs like the listed when dried have less nutritional value. But for those that travel, something is always better than nothing. 

 

Nutrition

Dark leafy greens are abundant in the essential nutrients for your body. Many of them contain Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, K, B, lutein, and a small amount of Omega-3 fats. They are rich in minerals like:

Calcium – keeps your bones and teeth strong and healthy coordination of muscles and nerves.

Iron – Erythropoiesis (Red Blood Cell Production)

Potassium – Regulates fluid retention in the body and manages muscle contractions.

Copper – helps in the production of Collagen and absorbs Iron.

Magnesium – Aids the vital function of the body. Critical for muscle function. 

 

Weight Management

Dark leafy greens are low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber. Fiber keeps your tummy full and limits unnecessary snacking, helping you manage and even lose your weight.

 

Health- Infusing Dark Leafy Greens

  • Greens: Primary Functions

 

  • Cabbage: Combats Anemia and Heart diseases

 

  • Kale: Healthy vision and retinal function and aids blood clotting

 

  • Mustard Greens: Prevents Arthritis and lowers LDL Cholesterol

 

  • Spinach: Regulates Heart Rate and Blood Pressure, Combats free radicals

 

  • Turnip Greens: Enhances collagen synthesis and Boosts Immune system

 

 

Many of us wonder as to how many greens we should eat.

Dark Leafy Greens and gut health mother trucker yoga

Recommended Intake of Dark Leafy Greens

Nutrition experts recommend eating ½ a cup of Dark leafy greens daily. At the same time, USDA recommends eating 3 cups of dark leafy greens per week. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with dark leafy greens. And as my friend Karen Urbanek says: “You can’t get fat by eating vegetables”. So eat up. Experiment, try them in salads, saute, as a bed for lean protein, and you can even throw them into smoothies. 

 

It may take time, you may need to steer your taste buds towards natural foods and re-learn to like them if all you have been eating is processed foods. And when in doubt, eat them because you know they are good for you. Your gut is your first brain, so feed it wisely. 

Looking for more ways to improve your eating on the road?

Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s blog all about on the go breakfast!

4 simple ways to be more mindful blog mother trucker yoga

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness In A Stressful World

The idea of being “mindful” is now just as common language as “ya all” or “selfie”. What used to be the art of paying attention has morphed into the art of mindfulness. But what exactly is mindfulness? But what does mindful mean? And I know what you are thinking. I’m not about to ask you to wear yoga pants, sit on a yoga mat, and chant the night away (although it might do a few people some good).

Dictionary.com says

mindfulness

mahynd-fuhl-nis ]
Is the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.

Psychology.

  1. a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them: The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.
  2. the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.

This way to mindfulness blog mother trucker yoga

The simple art of paying attention, being alert, present, and aware in a non-judgemental way. In yoga and mediation part of the practice is to observe, notice, and just take in. For most of us, we cannot help but float back into the past and drift off into the future when various things arise. The idea of replaying what happened, or predicting what will all while mixing in our feelings with what is.

To me, mindfulness is the practice of separating from all of that. Not to be dull and lacking in life. But the opposite. The art of seeing, feeling, and being a part of what actually is. I believe that nearly all frustration comes the moment we step out of them now. Mindfulness says stay with me, breathe and take it one breath at a time.

Mindfulness also asks us to be kind. To be kind to ourselves, to others, and to the world. [Check out The Daily Meditation and what Hope had to say about Gratitude…]

One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to apply this idea to the little things. Because it’s the little things that add up to big things over time. If you don’t want cavities when you are older, focus on brushing your teeth today, and when brushing your teeth, do just that. Treat your teeth, the action of brushing with the utmost reverence and importance. And notice how you feel afterward.

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness

1. Start now. Start simple.

Many people decide to step into mindfulness and create this elaborate plan of how they are going to meditate 20 minutes twice a day, and go for long nature walks, and do an hour of yoga daily. Adapting all those things has never done any of them, even in the slightest is a recipe for failure. Most won’t even get out of the gate and decide that it’s too much. I prefer to focus on keeping things KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Now I’m not insulting your intelligence, but rather suggesting we start simple.

Instead of starting to apply the practices of mindfulness when you are the most stressed, the most overwhelmed, the most distracted. Start when it’s easy, when and where you don’t have to change much of anything. When you brush your teeth, only brush your teeth. When you go to the bathroom, just go to the bathroom (I know crazy right). When you are cooking, or eating just do that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of it. Be present. You may be surprised by how you feel after. Taking an everyday task you already to and turning it into a mindful one.

 2. Approach With An Open Mind.

We as humans like to predict. We like to know all the answers… Well most of us do. And I want to challenge you to approach one situation each day for a week with a completely open mind. Notice if you start to predict how the situation will play out in your head before it’s over. Take note if your mind has already predicted the future before anything has even happened.

Take inventory of your feelings before, during, and after and how do you feel? For me, the practice of mindfulness is not sitting on a cushion in a dark quiet room. Mindfulness is me being more present, more alert, more aware, and more engaged in what I am doing, how I am feeling, and despite all of that continuing. Mindfulness has given me more confidence in hard situations, ones I would normally avoid otherwise.

3. FOR Peace Breathing.

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing was introduced to me when I first started on my yoga journey. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t complicated, and it didn’t require any equipment. All it needed was you and your willingness to step back and breathe.

When you stop and take a breath in a stressful situation, you stop the hormones released by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and start to live again. It is a simple tool that you can use every single day to prevent and release stress when it starts to bubble up.

Steps of F.O.R. Peace Breathing

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing un-complicates what our minds often make complicated. It makes you STOP and use the tool you were born with to deal with stress in your life.

What Does “F.O.R.” in Peace Breathing Stand For?

1. FOCUS

Focus on one, long, deep breath. Inhale deeply, feeling your diaphragm and belly expand (not your chest). Exhale through your nose or mouth for the same count, or longer. Be fully conscious of this breath.

2. OBSERVE

Observe your mind. Does it wander during this breath? Where does it go? Can you try again to be right here, right now?

3. REFOCUS 

Refocus if you need to. Bring your mind back to your breath. If your mind wanders, return to one deep breath.

4 Ground yourself physically.

Sounds silly, but we are all a part of something greater than ourselves. And science has already proved that we are all made up of energy. And when we are in nature our bodies have a way of restoring that energy within us with the positive energy around us. Ever been around someone who you felt like just zapped the life right out of you? Have you ever gone into a building, or slept somewhere were you just felt drained the next morning. Or the opposite. You are around someone who just lifts you up. Or slept somewhere and said that was the best night’s sleep ever. That might not be a coincidence.

Today, take inventory of who and what you surround yourself with. If all you do is spend time in a concert jungle, it might be time to step out into nature. Pull off at an oasis with a small park or grassy hill. Layout in the sun, or take a bit of time and reconsider who you surround yourself with. Being mindful asks you to do things with a purpose. And that purpose may be for you to take better care of you.

Take the Mindfulness Challenge!

Do you want more practical tips for being more mindful and peaceful in a stressful world? Join our 5-day Mindfulness Virtual Challenge September 7-11, 2020! Click HERE to sign up to join us!

 

What does mindfulness mean mother trucker yoga blog

Continue down the mindfulness path to a happier and healthier you with some of Mother Trucker Yoga’s other great content!

14 Ways to Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

 

Did you love this article?

Leave us a comment on what you thought. Or ways you work to stay more mindful.

Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog MTY

14 Ways to Reduce Overwhelm and Stress | As a Truck Driver

Overwhelm and stress. Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. We all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?

Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog MTY

Life Is About Choices

The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off of the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward. 

An article that appeared in Medical News Today discusses how “overwhelm and stress, in common terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”

You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.

14 ways to reduce stress and overwhelm get up early MTY blog post

14 Ways You To Reduce Stress and Overwhelm in Your Life:

  1. Get up a few minutes earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate, and visualize how your day is going to be great.
  2. Learn to say “no.” Say no to projects that won’t fit into your schedule, your vision, or may compromise your mental and emotional health.
  3. Allow others to help you. If they didn’t want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
  4. Have a backup. Have a backup plan, a backup car key, a backup babysitter, a back up a ride home. We think that it takes too much time to prepare. But did you have the time to figure out a half a$$ solution thereafter?
  5. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern, and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
  6. Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or drink more water and see where it takes you.
  7. Listen to relaxing music or guided meditations (Check out MTY’s guided meditations made just for drivers). Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, radios, and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
  8. Laugh—every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
  9. Keep a gratitude journal. When is the last time you stopped and reflected on all you have to be grateful for? The news and social media do an excellent job of showing us where we are imperfect and lacking. Remind yourself you have so much to be grateful for.
  10. Surround yourself with people who lift you rather than tear you down.
  11. Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
  12. Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be helpful, then who will be?
  13. Slow down. Most of us are all in overdrive in multiple areas of our lives. What’s the hurry? What if you will get there at the exact right time, every time?
  14. Meditate, pray, practice yoga. When is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back in? Make sure you check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Online Membership site were drivers just like you can come together and get fit- inside and outright from the cab of your truck

Finding the best overwhelm and stress relief strategies may take some time. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work; move on and try another. However, it’s essential to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs healthily. Keeping stress at a manageable level is vital for your overall well-being. 

Surround yourself with people that support you in your journey and leave those that don’t, behind. You won’t regret it. 

Resources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php
banish stress instantly for truckers mother trucker yoga blog

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. So, how do we banish stress in our every day lives?

As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. Yoga has helped me a great deal with handling stress and the side effects of stress. It helps to relieve tension by keeping me focused on my breath rather than all the thoughts racing through my heads.

Whether you are at home, work, or somewhere in between, yoga is a great way to find stress relief. So, to help you on your journey of finding ways to banish stress, here are three of my favorite yoga poses.

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Heart Opening Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Heart Opening Yoga Pose – Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch

This pose not only relieves pain in my upper back and shoulders; I can feel my mind and emotions melt when I do this. This heart-opening pose is one of my go-to poses after a stressful day when I can’t sleep or help relieve the tension of carrying life on my shoulders. As I work to widen my knees slowly, I feel relief to feel such space (even if it doesn’t look like it). The freedom of my body letting go into the safety of the floor for a few minutes is all I need to feel more like myself.

Constructive Rest Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Constructive Rest Yoga Pose- Reduce Back Pain

Constructive Rest pose is a simple pose to relax and separate from the day. It diminishes back pain and can ease the immediate discomfort mentally, emotionally, and physically life can bring about. Lying on your bed, widen your feet slightly wider than your hips and let your knees fall together and completely support each other. If your knees do not touch naturally, then place a pillow or rolled towel between them so your legs can completely relax. Do this pose on your bed or the floor and focus on your breathing or listen to some relaxing music or guided meditation.

Seated Forward Bend Traveling Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Seated Forward Bend – Complete Stretch from Foot to Forehead

 

Stress - Version 2 Seated Forward Bend Yoga pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

This pose is often used in yoga therapy to help manage depression. It is also known to soothe headache and anxiety and reduce fatigue. The feeling of bending forward eases the mind. Try to deepen your breathing during this pose and hold for one to five minutes. This pose brings me full circle to the simplicity that I am okay the way I am something we all can benefit from when stress steps in.

Be gentle to yourself so that life can be gentle back to you. Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly, with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. If you are new to this pose, it helps to hold a strap around the feel. If you are incredibly tight, place a rolled-up blanket under your knees for added support. The more you relax in this pose, the more naturally your body will open up.

You Are Worth It

Don’t overthink it. Sometimes you don’t have the time or the mental discipline to jump up and get a workout in, or strike a yoga pose. I get it. However, what I have discovered is that if you do make the time for yourself, you will see how yoga can help you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are worth it and you owe it to yourself to make time for you. It can feel that if we work ourselves into the ground that we will somehow win an award. But the only award you will be winning is one of disability and mental uneasiness. I am telling you that it is OK and vital that you take care of you, and you can do that starting with just a few minutes a day right in the cab of your truck. 

If you want to get professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes all in the comfort and privacy of your own rig. I invite you to check out Mother Trucker Yoga Online Studio Platform. No stress, no hassle, no sitters, and no fuss. This is not just another fitness program showing you moves from their gym where you try to figure out how to make this work in your truck.–it’s a fresh approach all done in and around the cab of the truck! I know that I know you will enjoy it. 

If you are experiencing stress right now, here are some other helpful resources:

10 Steps to Setting Goals as a Truck Driver

Benefits of Meditation- Simple Ways to Start Meditating

The 13th Step of Addiction Recovery 

Corporate Yoga for Logistics Companies MTY Blog

Corporate Yoga for Drivers and Desk Employees

When people hear about the benefits of yoga most are still imaging a yoga mat, yoga pants, and serene yoga music. But bringing yoga to your company doesn’t look quite like that. Mother Trucker Yoga’s corporate wellness programming brings amazing techniques and benefits right to the desk of the employee.

Yoga is by far one of the most commonly recommended activities to help with any number of issues from stress to flexibility, toning to weight-loss. Mother Trucker Yoga believes in simple easy moves drivers can do while inside their truck, some even driving to help them feel better, wherever they are. But it doesn’t have to start with the driver. Those running the drivers, finding loads, and filtering calls, paperwork and the dozens of other tasks to keep a company running smoothly yoga can be a tool in the company’s toolbox that can meet the need of every employee from the desk to the driver’s seat. 

 

It’s a growing issue and I think it’s about time we give it more attention with followed up action. At any given time, as many as one in six working people suffer from stress and other symptoms related to mental illness, researchers note in Occupational Medicine. Yoga is one of many approaches a growing number of employers are using to combat stress and improve workers’ mental health. 

 

As someone who has been practicing and teaching yoga for nearly 20 years, yoga helps the body, mind, and emotions. Some argue that our mental health is somehow separate from nutrition, or physical fitness, but I beg to differ. When someone makes any number of positive changes in their lives it affects all aspects of themselves in a positive light. 

 

University of Bristol researchers did a study looking at employees who exercised before or during work hours. And what they found was those who exercised during said times were better equipped to handle whatever challenges they had to face that day. It also found that their general mood improved on days they worked out and were less calm on days they did not. I call that a win! 

 

Jo Coulson, a Research Associate in the University’s Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, said: ”Critically, workers performed significantly better on exercise days and across all three areas we measured, known as mental-interpersonal, output and time demands.”

 

YOGA IN THE WORKPLACE

The health of any company or organization heavily relies on the health of its employees. Those that are constantly sick, fatigued, taking PTO for issues relating to their jobs like repetitive strain injuries or mental health days are costing your company’s bottom line hundreds if not thousands of dollars. 

 

As more and more organizations understand the impact of employees’ health on the companies’ performance, there are steadily more employers who have integrated different physical activities into their corporate wellness programs. But it can’t stop at just putting up a gym at your companies headquarters, especially if you own a trucking company. Ask any driver who drives for a company who has a corporate gym how many times they use it and they will most likely tell you zero. Ask any corporate employee how many times they use their company gym and I can guarantee it’s far less than you would think. 

Yoga has been continually an opportunity for its participants to achieve physical and mental wellness. And in today’s society yoga is increasingly finding its way into the workplace. Leading successful companies like Nike, Apple, Google, and Forbes have introduced Yoga into their corporate wellness programs and have reaped benefits like improved productivity and increased employee motivation.

 

Mother Trucker Yoga believes that like with our driver programming and orientation seminars, those behind the desk shouldn’t have to have complicated pathways to mental and physical wellness. Our corporate wellness programming: Employee Stress to Workplace Success is built for trucking companies, shippers and logistics companies and aims to equip the employees behind the desk with tips, techniques, 

 

BENEFITS OF YOGA IN THE WORKPLACE

Maybe you have never considered yoga as being an option for your company’s wellness plan. If you haven’t, I urge you to consider the benefits from the desk to the driver’s seat. 

 

ALLEVIATES ACHES AND PAINS FROM DESK JOBS

Like truck drivers hunched over the steering wheel, office workers to spend long hours hunched over their desks straining their neck much like the drivers of their companies. From repetitious mousing to hunching over the computer screen and long term sitting, this unnatural posture is wreaking havoc on their bodies one mouse click at a time. This daily build-up for strain and pain creates unnecessary stress and PTO that could have been avoided if those at the desk were armed with simples moves and exercises they could do right at their desk, none of which require a gym on-site or even yoga clothes. 

 

INCREASES ENERGY & REDUCED FATIGUE

Working non-stop throughout the day is bound to create stress which can lead to lower energy and burnout in the long run. It is proven that doing any form of physical activity every 30 minutes, including stretching or even standing up, greatly increases blood circulation and promotes oxygenation which is crucial for energy production.

 

The benefits to yoga are endless and you don’t need a 60-minute yoga class to reap what yoga has to offer. 

  • Yoga can increase blood flow
  • Yoga can reduce muscle strain
  • Yoga can reduce fatigue and eye strain
  • Yoga can improve posture and digestion 

Yoga Stretch MTY Blog

IMPROVES CONCENTRATION & FOCUS

The constant need to meet deadlines fix problems and diffuse other work-related situations on top of their own constantly piling workload can create frustration, mental clutter, anxiety, and physical tension and tightness. All of the above can hinder productivity, creativity, and communication, something no company can afford to lose. And something no company should sacrifice with the right tools, programs, and processes in place. 

  • Yoga can improve brain function
  • Yoga can improve mental clarity 
  • Yoga can reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Yoga can improve problem-solving skills
  • Yoga can reduce strain and pain

 

PROMOTES COMPANY CULTURE & MORALE

Improving company culture requires an entire company to focus on improving itself at an interpersonal level first. And when a company promotes an environment that supports such efforts, everyone benefits. 

Stressed employees are more likely to be aggressive, hostile, short-tempered and make mistakes which disrupts any opportunity for a healthy work environment. A successful workplace is one that its employees enjoy waking up and going to each day. You can love what you do, but not enjoy where you do it. I believe that the increase in people leaving the corporate work environment is in part due to the culture in which they work. 

 

By both drivers and desk employees learning yogic techniques they can do right at their desk that can be done in one to three minutes throughout the day can help to elevate mood, and improve company morale.

 

  • Yoga can reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone)
  • Yoga can lower blood pressure
  • Yoga can diffuse tempers
  • Yoga can instantly accessible outlets for frustration  

 

YOGA, GOOD FOR BUSINESS AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line is your company is only as healthy as the people that run it — Your employees. 

 

The power of providing resources and opportunities for your employees to feel appreciated can go a long way. People work for people who feel appreciated. And on top of that if you own a company that deals with the trucking industry isn’t it time we start to appreciate all the people behind that which drives America?

 

All it takes is teaching your company crew how they can improve physical and mental well-being right from the driver’s seat and desk in just a few minutes. And you, the company owner gets to reap the benefits of a happy and healthy functioning workplace. 

 

Teaching things like simple yogic breathing practices, easy yoga stretches, and short meditations can become a game-changer in the long run.   

  • From burning out to breathing exercises 
  • From stressed out to stretching out 
  • From medication to meditation. 

 

Mother Trucker Yoga’s Employee Stress to Workplace Success Seminars and Workshops help your company vitals stay above sea level. 

 

For more information on our corporate Yoga, set up a time to chat with Hope here.