Q4 Tips for Stress Relief
It appears Election Day has now metastasized into Election Season! And while the “season” is almost over, you can’t deny the presence of more stress and anxiety in how people are behaving. To add to it: here come the Holidays!
Stress acts like the canary in a coal mine: it’s indicative of extreme, deep feelings, pressures, and imbalance. This imbalance shows up differently in different people, and can signify health problems ahead. Let’s work together to identify stress, and minimize it where we can.
Here are 4 simple ways to manage stress:
- Some of us deal with stress through taking action. We might feel responsible for those around us and neglect to take care of ourselves in doing so. This weight is stored in the shoulders and upper back, and manifests as tightness, grogginess, and maybe irritability. The antidote? Relax your shoulders down toward the floor, and then back as you lift your sternum. Let your tongue go slack, and rest between your lower teeth. Take the weight of the world off your shoulders. Literally. For more support, watch this clip here.
- Anxiety has an upward draft to it, like balloons floating up into the sky. When this happens, take an “Air Snack” by breathing in deeply and exhale fully—in through the nose, out through the mouth. Exhaling through the mouth has the effect of a release valve, and it brings your mind back to a place of calm. Try this five times, lengthening the exhale with each cycle, until you start to feel better.
- Some people deal with uncertainty by becoming fearful. When we are afraid of something, our natural fight-or-flight response kicks in, and our bodies automatically send energy into the quadriceps so that we can run, or fight. These days, however, instead of running we keep scrolling, feeding our fear with little dopamine blasts. What should naturally be a shot of “life-saving” adrenaline is now stuck in the quadriceps, which goes on to create tightness in the body. Take notice of the stiffness in your thighs: it could be a signal that you should get up and walk around. To release, try this (don’t kick a door down!).
- Whether you’re stressed or not, a simple self massage for the forehead and temples goes a long way. Find the pressure point between the eyebrows: pushing gently here helps to soothe the entire nervous system. This technique also rests your eyes, which may have been locked to a screen for longer periods of time, and are in need of a break.
We can’t eliminate stress from our lives entirely, but we can learn how to minimize it and expand our threshold for stress.
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