Part one in a series of four health and wellness expert Q&As
Breathe. Stretch. Meditate. This is what South Orange resident and Self Reboot Founder/President Dawn Lorentz wants you to do this year for yourself to combat stress.
“We are all guilty of being on our smartphones too much,” says the former corporate real estate executive manager-turned-stress-management-expert. After spending years dealing with mounting but undiagnosable health problems like migraines and jaw pain, Lorentz decided to make a change for the better. “I was a corporate burnout, and almost became suicidal: I didn’t know how to deal with stress,” she recalls. “The crazy deadlines took over my body, and I didn’t know how to let it out. It festered inside and became migraines.” She taught herself yoga and meditation by taking classes, and loved it so much she studied to become a practitioner of both healing arts.
I asked her for some simple tips and information to make 2016 less stressful – things any of us can do in a day without much effort. Here were her thoughts:
1) “Take 15 minutes away from your phone every day. Don’t answer emails or look at Facebook. No Snapchat. No games. Take those 15 minutes and do some breathing. Inhale through your nose sitting at your desk or in any chair – let your chest rise, and on exhale, let air escape through your mouth. Take simple, deep belly breaths.
Just to breathe is not enough, however! Do two minutes of breath work, then three minutes of stretching. This means getting up from your desk, doing a forward bend, and on exhale – hinging at your hips, taking your hands to floor, and relaxing your head. Then shake your arms side to side like a rag doll. Next, do a guided meditation. How? Easily: you can go to headspace.com, and they have great guided mediations/apps for free. Or. on youtube.com, type in ‘guided meditation,’ and you will find many. Everyone can do this.”
2) “I teach people all of the techniques that I had no clue existed when I was in corporate America. I make sure they are taking care of themselves, so that they can take care of others. It’s important to me because I don’t want anyone to go through what I experienced.” Lorentz says that despite the fact that many people see their doctors because of illnesses exacerbated by stress, only a very small percentage of doctors talk to their patients about how to reduce stress as an everyday practice.
“For over a year and a half, I saw doctors when I got sick: they gave me prescriptions, and I never got better,” Lorentz says. “The only time I began to feel better was when I started exploring more holistic practices including yoga, meditation, and acupuncture. Now I take what I have learned and share it with clients and the employees of companies who hire me to help reduce stress in their offices.”
3) “Retrain your brain from negative to positive – you’ll feel happier and more resilient. When stressful times come, you will have built a strong foundation that will allow you to move through these times quicker and more smoothly. Do a gratitude check: Write a journal, and take note of the following for one month. First, write three things that you are grateful for. Then write three things about yourself that you like. At the end of a day, write three things that were positive about the day. When you look back at the journal, it will show you what’s good in life, instead of what’s bad. You will start to see results in three weeks.”
Want a private consult with Lorentz? Visit www.selfreboot.org for more information, or to book an appointment for yourself or your company’s HR leader.