People like to push themselves these days. We always want to do our best, go, and we feel that if we stop, then we might lose. But the problem is that if we don’t stop, then there is more to lose.
If you’re like most Notable Women I know, you have a problem resting. And for so many women, the pandemic has made that inability to rest so much worse as women have to navigate all the normal workload, plus virtual schooling, securing a grocery delivery time, NOT getting / catching the virus OR navigating getting it and not giving it to your family, and getting family members vaccinated now too. Yikes, it’s just too much.
I decided that because of this, “rest” would be the perfect topic for our first series of 2021 (and our first series ever, actually). To launch us, I reached out to frequent Notable Woman summit speaker Sneha Jhanb.
Sneha Jhanb is a Relaxation and Prosperity Coach who is passionate about helping busy professionals connect with their emotional and financial well-being and relax deeply. Sneha transitioned from her career as an Industrial Engineer and now identifies herself as a multi-passionate entrepreneur and wears many hats under the umbrella of StressLessWithSnehaJ.com, a website she created to help busy professionals find the balance between joy and prosperity.Throughout her life, she has been fascinated in understanding personal growth and prosperity. Other than writing and coaching, she loves serving her clients through meditation and relaxation sessions using mindfulness, crystal bowl sound meditation and yoga nidra. Sneha is an author of Indian origin, now settled in the United States of America where she lives with her husband, two children and a furry pet. Sneha’s written work has appeared in online publications like Raising World Children, Power of Moms, Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Thrive Global, and Deseret News.
How exciting, amirite?
In this first episode focused on rest, we talk about:
- how Sneha pivoted out of her career as an engineer and into stress and prosperity coaching,
- what our natural tendency toward rest is,
- what our bodies need from us,
- how we can find restful moments for our bodies and brains throughout the day, and
- what tips Sneha gives her clients who need help resting.
Sneha’s free gift for you:
Download a FREE 25-minute singing bowl meditation! In just 25 minutes: calm your nerves down, connect with your inner self, and relax deeply. Relaxation gets a bad reputation. Relaxation is often mistaken for laziness or quitting, but the truth is far from it. The relaxation response is a necessity for our mind-body-spirit system. It’s a response by our parasympathetic nervous system to help reduce stress hormones and promote relaxing hormones. Download it today right here > https://stresslesswithsound.com.
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I was a fan before I was a guest. Now I’ve been a guest and I’m an even greater fan! Cristin Downs is an amazing interviewer and host. She is insightful, professional and just a pleasure to work with. What comes across in the stories is as much a product of Cristin’s fierce talent in conceptualizing the episodes and finding the stories as it is the a reflection of her interesting and engaging subjects. Fantastic, Notable Women. Listen and enjoy!
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[00:00:00]Cristin: Hello, hello, Notable Women. Welcome back to another exciting interview today. My guest is Sneha Jhanb. She is a relaxation and prosperity coach. She’s passionate to help busy professionals connect with their emotional and financial wellbeing and to relax deeply. She transitioned from her career as an industrial engineer, and now identifies herself as a multi-passionate entrepreneur wearing many hats under the umbrella of the stresslesswithsnehaj.com Website she created to help busy professionals find the balance between joy and prosperity.
Throughout her life, she’s been fascinated about understanding personal growth and prosperity through writing and coaching. She loves serving her clients through meditation or relaxation sessions using mindfulness, crystal bowl, sound meditation and yoga nidra.
Sneha is as an author of Indian origin. Now settling in United States of America, where she lives with her husband, two children, [00:01:00] and a very fluffy, pet who’s adorable, by the way. So you should follow Sneha on Instagram so that you can have more of that adorable furry friend in your life. Now Sneha’s written work has appeared in online publications like Raising World Children, Power of Moms, Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Thrive Global, and Deserert News.
I’m so excited to have you on the podcast.
Sneha: Thank you, Cristin. For having me here, I’m really excited.
Cristin: I think it’s going to be great. So we’ve been in each other’s worlds for probably years now. It feels weird.
Sneha: Doesn’t it?
Cristin: Yeah, it really has been, and this is our first interview together. So I’m so excited. So now, how did you make this transition from being an industrial engineer to doing what it is that you do today?
Sneha: It was not an overnight transition. It came from personal stress and finding myself in a [00:02:00] job that was stressful and finding myself at home with two kids under five, or at that time they were under two and a half when my baby was born. And juggling between that and me being very ambitious and wanting to give like my hundred percent at work and at home at some point I found myself being angry in the house and that reminded me of my childhood and my parents when they were stressed. And there was one promise that I had always made to myself that as a, parent I will always take care of my stress first and not let that affect my children. Not that my parents affected us as much, but there was some history that I don’t want to get into of where they handle their stress through alcohol abuse and things like that.
So it was a little harder to [00:03:00] see them in that journey at that time. So I wanted to not be angry at children or not bring that stress at home. So that led me to finding my own mindfulness and my own stress management practices. And then it just changed, my whole life changed after that.
Cristin: Amazing. And now when you, and I talked about this episode, so this is part of a series that I’m doing on rest, because I feel like it’s something that we’re normally pretty bad at. Both women, Americans, moms not very good about taking the time to stop. And take care of ourselves. And so I really wanted to do a series on it. And then of course, in the pandemic, I feel like it’s even more important. And so when we talked about it, you mentioned that in actuality, [00:04:00] people think that stopping to rest is hurting them, but it actually can really help them. And so how, does that work? Exactly?
Sneha: So when it comes to rest, there are so many different things that we can think of. One is the rest that we have as we sleep. And then there’s the active rest that we need in moments of daily stress, where we need a moment to think for ourselves, our 10 minutes to nap or just have some breathing exercises.
So it depends on where we are and what we need. And a lot of times what people think about rest is that rest means that you are running away from your life or rest means that you are not strong enough or you’re weak. And people like to push themselves these days. We always want to do our best, go, and we feel that if we stop, then we might lose. [00:05:00] But the problem is that if we, don’t stop, then there is more to lose. And when you know that in the hindsight, it’s harder because then you’re facing things like depression, you’re facing things like higher blood pressure or diabetes or the all these other disorders that you may have because of your stress. So why go there? Why not instead include naps and rest in your daily life? So you don’t get into those situations.
Cristin: So many wonderful threads to pull apart there. So let’s start with the, what I think be the first thing that someone would experience and they would realize that they would need to take some times. So you mentioned that. Stress can often have an effect on our bodies that it can result in things like high blood pressure. It can obviously impact and increase depression. So if somebody [00:06:00] was coming to terms that the, that their body was telling them that it was time to rest, what would be your recommendations for them?
Sneha: If somebody had Exhaustion. I think exhaustion is one of the good ways of knowing that you are stressed and first would be finding out if they’re sleeping enough for what their body type is. And what their weight is, what they are age is and having that six to eight hours of sleep. Are they having that and finding the reasons of why are they not able to sleep?
So making sure that. To start with that. First thing is looking at their sleep cycle.
Cristin: That’s great. I was, I did have, I, I have like I’m, I note on my fingers, how many things you said that I want to talk about? And one of them was sleep because I think that in our society, that’s one of the places that rest is often not given a [00:07:00] chance is that people feel like they can’t. First of all, they feel like they can’t take that time to sleep. And then second of all, even when they do set aside a certain amount of time of sleep, that they have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep. So do you have any recommendations around stress and sleep?
Sneha: Yeah. I have a lot of recommendations, frankly, but let’s understand first why we need sleep because I think a lot of people think that sleep is all about laziness, so it’s more scientific than that. So if we so our body has a nervous system, right? And a part of it is the autonomic nervous system.
And it has two parts. One is the sympathetic and one parasympathetic and it’s too technical, but I’ll make it easy. I promise. So the sympathetic nervous system is all about your fight and flight, right? It tells you when to fight when to flight. So it’s all about handling those dangers in our body, right?
And the [00:08:00] parasympathetic nervous system is all about rest and digest phase. So it will tell you how to read slowly or it will naturally make your body have the correct blood pressure, have the relaxation hormones in you. So when we sleep, our body get goes into that rest and digest mode.
Or when we relax, that’s when our body gets into rest and digest mode. When we are stressed, when we are facing danger, that is when our body gets into the sympathetic nervous system. So it gets into, okay, I need to fight. I need to do something about this. Now when we were in the caveman stages, it was okay because we needed that.
There was like that imminent danger of being killed by somebody. So we had to have that, but in today’s world, it’s more about all the stresses that we see, the news that we see the deadlines that we have, right. The conversations that we may have that are not so pleasant with other [00:09:00] people. So all of that is seen as a threat.
And if we have series of these conversations or series of news that we keep watching all day long, then imagine the number of threads that our body, our nervous system faces. So it is not able to then go into that sleep cycle. Because it is in this restaurant sorry, in the fight and flight mode.
And it doesn’t know to get back here because it is still facing that danger. So now as humans, we have to actively do something to first relax ourselves and then fall asleep.
Cristin: That’s all amazing and great and wonderful information. And I think a lot about. When I first became a manager of a large team and then started to work with people individually, I realized how much stress every single person was carrying with them.
[00:10:00] And, some of it was. Workplace specific, like the workplace bully who bullied everyone. And so that anytime they had to interact with that person, they had stress around that. And that was a collective stress where people would say, you talked to her this time. No, I talked to her last time, Kara to and then there’s the individual stressors, in your role, you have to do a certain activity on a monthly or biweekly or quarterly basis or whatever. And that particular task causes you specific stress around X, Y, Z, or maybe it’s talking to certain people certain types of clients or something like that, certain types of vendors. And so as I was managing all these people, I just started to realize that there was just an impossible load of stress on everyone that they really were walking around at, stress max capacity, so that when small things happen, like the train [00:11:00] was late, or I don’t know, the AC broke and it was hot.
People just got.grumpy because they were already at such a high stress level that something small, which just really pushed them over the edge. And so I, really appreciate you saying that it’s that sort of cumulative effect on the stressors and that it’s, this it’s that sleep is restorative. That is that’s amazing.
So what are some of the exercises that you recommend for people? They working professional? They have all these stressors that we just talked about, both can combined the ones you mentioned, the one I mentioned and they know they need to get more sleep and they get to the point where they’re supposed to be going to bed and they are amped up.
So what, sort of relaxation and stress relief activities do you typically recommend to clients who have that sort of situation?
[00:12:00] Sneha: One of the exercises that I like, and I like to share with people is diaphragmatic breathing. And what that helps us is not. Only before sleeping, but it will also help say if you are at work and you cannot take naps at work, right?
So you have to be present and you might be feeling stressful and you need something to calm yourself down. So you can take those decisions that you want to take at work. So a diaphragmatic breathing is an exercise that can help you. To bring that relaxation response inside of you within 12 minutes.
So how you do, you want to try it?
Cristin: Oh gosh, no.
If you want to share with us, I think people would really like it. I will perhaps listen.
Sneha: All you have to do is sit straight and if you have a place to lie down, you can do it by lying down. So it could be something while sleeping. You could do this before that. But if you’re sitting at your desk [00:13:00] make sure that your back is straight, your feet are nicely aligned with the chair and touching the ground and put your right hand on your heart.
And left-hand on the abdomen. And how you breathe. There’s a particular way of how you breathe in this exercise. So you, when you breathe, you make sure that as you breathe in your abdomen rises
And make sure in a way that you notice that your chest is not moving as much. So you have to have that beep breathing. Yeah. So.
you have that. I don’t know if you can see my abdomen, but it can go like up and down. And I don’t like to show it, but it goes inside and outside. And you do that breathing exercise control breathing for 12 minutes okay.
So you breathe in through the nose and read deeply, so you can feel your abdomen to rise. And sometimes you will find [00:14:00] that your reading is inverted, where when you breathe in, your abdomen will go inside. So if you notice that you make sure that you focus on that and make your abdomen go out and then as you breathe out, Take your abdomen muscles inside and that relaxes you like anything in 12 minutes.
Cristin: So I’m sorry. My immediate reaction was terror at it totally was. But what I liked about that was that Yeah. So I’m not, I have a problem being a grounded person. I am not a grounded person. I’m very all up in here all the time in my head. And so I love the, making sure your feet are firmly planted of this sitting part of that, that really helped ground me immediately.
And then. Because I have a hard time with my [00:15:00] breath which is why I was immediately afraid. I was like, I’m gonna mess this. I’m gonna mess your exercise up. But this, tangible action of the, hand on the chest and the hand on the abdomen, that really helps me. Because I don’t, I can’t, naturally do the breath the way I’m supposed to, which I know it’s bad, but it’s its own thing.
And I’ll just I’ll just hire you and work with your separately. But yeah, I liked that because it made it, it may, it gave me a physical, tangible way to experience the breath. And even just this gesture of the hand placement, plus the feet, I felt better. Yeah, because you’re not doing, you’re giving yourself a hug in a way.
So you are bringing that nurturing to yourself in that position. Yeah. I could see that if you just got that in a staff meeting, that if you were doing that to yourself, you would just feel a little bit better. [00:16:00] And certainly I have certainly I’ve had experiences with that. And I think everyone has, and I had.
Former colleagues that had spots at work where they would go to cry and they would try not to be the same spots as someone else’s crying spot. So people are having a hard time and that was even before the pandemic started. So I think having an exercise like that is so great. And I could see that being both wonderful for falling asleep and as well as during the day. And I’m glad you brought that second part up because when you were talking in the beginning, I was thinking that we wanted to talk both about sleep, which is obviously huge. And people have a hard time with it, but also about how we can take that time during the day when maybe your kids are stressing you out work is stressing you out.
Maybe your partner is stressing you out and just to have an opportunity to. Do a [00:17:00] bit of a reset is really, nice. Now, again, when we were talking about scheduling this conversation, you mentioned to me that rest can often help you be more productive. So the natural inclination of a ambitious high achieving professional is that if I stop and take this rest, Then I will automatically be behind and it will be a disaster.
And so I must push, So can you talk a little bit about how does rest actually make you more effective?
Sneha: Sure. What happens is that when we are going Our mind is collecting, putting so much information in our brain, right? So we’re processing a lot of information. So when we are resting, when we are sleeping, our mind takes this information, puts it, sorts it in the correct places in our brain cells.
So when we are not resting, it doesn’t get that time. When [00:18:00] we are making decisions, we are going to feel more foggy. We are not going to be able to concentrate if you’re not rested. And we are not going to be able to take the decisions because we have so much information overload and we have not taken the time to process it.
Sometimes it is said that if you are not rested sometimes if. If you drink alcohol a little bit more alcohol than usual, you are not able to take the decisions correctly. So not being well, rested can mirror that rest. It’s that important.
Cristin: So rest allows you to process your thoughts and it allows you to make decisions better. One of the things that I have found is that. Often times if I’m, let’s say I’m working on a problem of some kind that I’m trying to solve, maybe it’s a client problem. Maybe it’s a workflow [00:19:00] issue.
Oftentimes when I step away from the problem and take a walk or do the dishes or clean up a thousand figurines in my son’s room. That I often get the answer to whatever it is. So is that sort of like the same thing that I’m letting my brain go? Boop, And put everything in the right folders.
And that’s how it works.
Sneha: Yeah, it does. And when you are going, you have so many loops that are open, right? So that causes overwhelm. So when you’re already overwhelmed, you’re again in that fight or flight mode. And when you are in that fight or flight mode, your creative brain does not function.
So you don’t get that help from the brain that you need at that point, when you really need a creative solution to your problem. So in order to have taking a walk or washing dishes breathing exercises, taking a nap, whatever that will help that brain, [00:20:00] that you need to come out and start helping you.
Cristin: So now one of the other things that you do that I have experienced and enjoyed quite a bit is that you’re very into sound baths and sound meditations. How does that help with the rest and less stress?
Sneha: So some meditations are the work on the frequency of the sounds that the balls ring. Those frequencies help in train our brainwaves to match the frequencies of the balls.
And then slower the waves down and helps to just get directly into a meditation state. So it happens more scientifically then too. So sometimes in meditation, people try to let go of their thoughts or they try to meditate and that sometimes doesn’t work for a lot of people. So for some meditation, you don’t have to try anything.
You just have to sit there and listen to the sound and the [00:21:00] sound will do the work for you. And pulled you into that relaxation state.
Cristin: That’s amazing. So folks who want to meditate, but are having a hard time with it, because again, they’re trying, and perhaps they have a hard time shutting down their brains sound meditation would be something that might work for them.
Sneha: Yeah. Yeah.
Cristin: Excellent. So now. If someone is listening to this episode and they say, okay, I know that I’m having a hard time stopping and resting. Would you have maybe three steps that you would walk them through as a, client of yours?
Sneha: Sure. First of all, I would say, take a pause if you’re having trouble doing whatever first, take a pause.
And as you take a pause, the second step would be just closing your eyes and looking inside the body and noticin g, ust noticing inside what’s [00:22:00] going on. So that could be noticing your heart rate, noticing your breath. Noticing any feelings that are coming up, basically just dropping inside the body. And the third step would be then getting back to whatever that you’re doing. So it’s as simple as pausing and coming to the body again.
Cristin: Excellent. I just did that without closing my eyes. And I was like, Oh, I believe I’m hungry. Didn’t know that before was always talking to us.
Sneha: It gives us different cues. So if you need that rest, if you need that sleep, if you really listen to it, it’ll tell you what it needs, but we don’t even take that one moment to pause.
We’re just so worried Oh my God, what’s going to happen next. Who’s going to listen to this next. What we’re like, what project are we going to [00:23:00] work on next? How am I going to solve it, where I’m going to get all this money from? So we have all these questions, but we have to really pause to find those answers, right?
Because we have so many questions, but are we really stopping to listen to any of the answers for those questions that we’re asking?
Cristin: So my son is on a toy story kick right now. Have you seen Toy Story?
Sneha: A long time ago.
Cristin: So there’s a, in Toy Story four, they introduced the character called Forkey and he at Disney has created a series of shorts where Forkey asks a question, and he asked, what is money? What is cheese, whatever. But he doesn’t listen to any of the answers. Anyone gives him. Now I’m going to think of Forkey when I’m not paying attention to what my body is actually telling me. Oh, I think that’s a, great way for my, brain, my mom, brain of a, kindergartner to understand.
Now, [00:24:00] I also believe that you have a book coming out soon. Is that right?
Sneha: It is.
Cristin: Tell us all about it.
Sneha: So my book Stress-Free Prosperity, a mindful path to bringing more joy, abundance, and wealth. In that book, it is more of a practical approach to understanding the relationship between stress and prosperity and seeing it as two sides of the same coin.
Cristin: Excellent. And now is that going to be available? Amazon and places like that?
Sneha: Yeah, it will be available on Amazon and different places from February 19th around.
Cristin: It’s great. Yeah. So when this episode airs, it will not be out yet, but as soon as it’s out, I will update the show notes so that people can go ahead and grab their copy, which is exciting.
Yeah. And so now if people listen to this episode and they just said, Oh my [00:25:00] gosh, I am just loving Sneha. I just want to follow her around. Ha how could they do that? Where would they find you?
Sneha: They can find me on Facebook or Instagram as Stressless, but , it’s like facebook.com/ or instagram.com/stress less with and my website is the same as stresslesswithsnehaj.com.
Cristin: Perfect. I will link to all of those places. Thank you so much for being with us today. This has been so helpful and useful, and that’s my tiny human. Okay.
Sneha: Thank you so much for having me.
Cristin: Thank you so much.