|Take A Walk Out In Nature|
Stress is related to change, and the rate of change going on in the world right now is mind-boggling. Technology is constantly shifting, the economy is unstable, many people are unemployed and our sense of security has weakened. This is causing global stress that affects us all.
Stress effects health as it may lead to over stimulation of the nervous and immune systems leading to physical and emotional problems and mental burnout. In these times of uncertainty we need, more then ever, to learn how to focus on practices that diffuse accumulated tension.
Finding the Path to Peace
Make space and time for yourself each day. Take a walk in nature. Dance to your favorite music. Express yourself creatively. There are endless tools to release stress but you must be aware of and identify the tools that work for you. Start by making a list of your personal priorities and individual wants and needs. If you are engulfed by external distractions in life you may be totally out of touch with this and may find this process challenging. Closing your eyes during this process helps to block out external distractions. Put one hand over your heart (Helps focus energy into the heart and release the analytical mind) and the other over your abdomen. (Centers and connects to the core) Ask yourself what is needed for your highest good in different categories of life. Try to feel the answer coming from your body not your mind. The mind gets caught up in what you think you should and have to do, which leads to stress and fatigue. Record your answers as they become more tangible if written down. Here are some examples to get you started:
What is the highest good for your physical body? (Do you need more exercise, rest, or a change in diet?)
What is wanted and needed emotionally? (Do you need support, alone time, love, friendship, romance, or fun?)
What do you need to expand your mind/consciousness? (Meditation, appreciation, reading, writing, research, , yoga?)
What do you need to balance yourself energetically? (Do you need time to relax, time management, a vacation or bodywork treatment?)
What would feed and nurture your spiritually? (A connection to nature, a religious group or spiritual community, participating in activities that open your heart and soul?)
Some answers may come easier then others. Some answers may surprise you. If you are having trouble doing these exercises you may need someone to facilitate this process for you.
Once you have your answers you can start working on fulfilling your wants and needs and attract things that inspire you. This new awareness enables you to make different choices around what you’re going to do and how you live your life.
|Focus On Breathing And Movement|
One of the easiest and most fundamental ways to center and relax is to focus on the breath. When you’re stressed, your breathing becomes shallow. When you breathe deeply, it increases the oxygen level in your body. It facilitates a state of relaxation and peace yet allows you to feel more energized as well. Breathing is like rebooting a computer. One practical aspect of breathing techniques is that they can be practiced anywhere and can be used to prevent or in direct response to a stressful situation.
The combination of breath with movement is a powerful antidote to stress. Breathing and movement is a very profound way of coming into the space of being present in the moment. It also has a direct effect on the tissues, helping to remove toxins, increase flexibility of both the body and the mind, balance energy flow, and bring clarity of thought.
|Relaxing In Restorative Yoga Class|
Mindful practices such as yoga, qigong, and healing touch (Massage, bodywork or energy balancing) reduce stress by balancing the nervous system and helping you to gracefully adjust to changing circumstances in life. It is resistance to change that makes life difficult. As you peel away the stress of the past, increase body awareness and develop a new relationship with yourself it helps you to accept life just as it is. You begin to experience peace. You start to identify when there is an imbalance in the body and take action to correct it.
Bodywork and massage can help you to manage stress by bringing the body back to its natural rhythm. The health benefits are profound. The transformational techniques that I practice and teach balance energy, release muscular & mental tension, unwind restrictions in the fascia, cultivates mental focus & clarity, transforms emotional issues and nurtures spiritual awareness. The improved circulation, increases nutrients and oxygen to the cells, bones, muscle tissues, and organs, and helps remove waste products. The session sets your self-healing wisdom in motion and the benefits are extended way beyond the session.
Nourishing the Body. Diet is another important aspect of managing stress. Stress is a signal for the body to fortify itself. But many people reach for the wrong things, such as sugar, snacks and processed food, which actually support stress instead of reducing it. Be mindful of what you eat. Don’t use food as a way to run away or escape from stressful issues.
Eating natural whole-foods, a diet including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, fish, naturally raised meat, and poultry provides the nutrients, fiber, and energy that maintain digestive integrity and provide the ‘stress-defending’ substances we need.
Let your approach to stress reduction embrace the art of nourishment and self-care in every aspect of life. This is an art that is specific to each unique individual. We all have a genetic potential and lifestyle factors that impact our adaptive stress response. Therefore each person’s “stress-less portfolio” will look different. What is important is to commit to improving your life in some way; be conscious of breathing deeply as you go through your day, a daily 15-minute walk, writing down your stress in a journal to release it before bed, begin a yoga or exercise program, get bodywork monthly and increasing your vegetable intake are all suggestions you can take to continue the journey toward stress-free living.