Body Work To Manage Stress
It is not uncommon for people to be stressed. Your stress response is triggered the same way it was once triggered when you had to run away from a tiger going to eat you. Therefore it fuels you with a surge of energy to help you. You can use movement, particularly soon after the stressful event to bring the body back to hormonal balance.
Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about how on average people are spending 70% of their life in stress. There are different ways to tackle your stress levels, this week I am going to go over 7 different ways of implementing bodywork to manage your stress.
1. Exercise: consider if you prefer low or high intensity, choose a form of exercise that is going to put you into the ‘flow state’. This is when you are absorbed in the activity and being challenged enough to keep you engaged. Activities that are going to allow you to fall into a rhythm of breath and movement to help engage your relaxation response.
2. Yoga: this is great because it incorporates physical exertion and breath focus, it requires you to slow your breath which is going to calm your nervous system. As well as incorporating stilling the mind.
3. Movement: this is something gentler in comparison to vigorous exercise, walking, gentle dancing, tai-chi or qigong are a few examples. Like yoga, they can involve moving the body and incorporating breath focus
4. Walking meditation: this can be easier than sitting meditation and involves creating a stronger level of awareness of your surroundings as you walk. Walking with a meditator focus and pay attention to the physical feeling of the surface on your feet, the sun on your face, the sounds of nature, the sight of your feet stepping.
5. Breath: bringing your attention back to your breath can be one of the keys ways to reduce your stress response. Always remember to come back to the breath and taking in slow deep breaths until you feel yourself relaxing.
6. Massage: This is a great way to help with relaxation, it is also a great way to get physical touch, which is helpful for our nervous system to relax.
7. Sleep: sleep and stress are obviously very correlated, high stress leads to poor sleep and poor sleep can lead to feeling stressed. It is so important when you are trying to reach optimal health and wellness that you factor in your quality of sleep and sleeping habits.
Try different techniques for yourself and allow yourself permission to gravitate towards what feels most comfortable for you. Sometimes there can be a larger discomfort when you are first starting out because you are allowing yourself the space to stop and pay attention to the stress in an effort to remove it. Do not resist this discomfort and try to avoid it, it is only going to be pushed down and added to the stress sitting right under the surface of what you are already feeling. What is one thing you can incorporate this week to reduce your stress levels?