Your body is always with you. The miracle of healing is that it usually gives you another chance, whenever you want to take it, to get stronger and feel calmer. Putting too much pressure on yourself to be productive every minute, to show concern all the time, to live up to others’ expectations – can all create unhealthy stress mentally and physically when there is no break from it. With messages at every turn telling us stoke our energy and be ever more productive and live up to growing pressures, our society rarely provides an outlet or encouragement to let go, get rest, be gentle and be free of constant choices and concerns.
Stretching, Yoga and Meditation can help releive stress. Here are a few videos that address this issue. Click the individual pictures to learn about each.
Breathing:By the time we reach our 40s and 50s, we have often learned habitual postures and positions that block our ability to breathe fully. These postures might be learned from parents, they might be developed from past injuries or result unconsciously from daily environments like driving or hunching forward to look at a computer at a desk job.
How To Fix It:
Start with your breath. It is always there….and it is the link to the peace of mind that is always there for you. Breathing deeply can help you begin to slow down, even in the most stressful times of your life. Even if you are not inclined to practice sitting meditation, doing 5 minutes of breathing exercises and concentrating on your breath during easy movement is in itself a relaxing meditation. These tranquil, replenishing exercises can be done wherever you are.
"TAKE 5" RELAXATION EXERCISE
Exercise benefits begin when we start to breathe fully. Over the years, we can develop unconscious habits like slouching or muscle tension because of the kind of work we do or even feelings of stress. This kind of muscle tension and mental anxiety can lead to health problems as we age.
Start by stopping – and listening to your body. It may be telling you something with minor aches and pains. It may be completely silent, numb and lacking in energy. You may even feel annoyed, or worried about everything and feeling stuck.
If you have these feelings, take 5 minutes in your day to stop. Go to a place that is a quiet and private as possible, even if it’s a bathroom. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Close your eyes. Try to clear your mind by only thinking of the sound of your breathing. Then gently let your head nod down, then come level again, a few times. Gently turn your head to the right then back to center; to the left and center, a few times on each side. As you inhale deeply, slowly shrug your shoulders then let them fall naturally. Roll them slowly forward twice, then backward twice. Lift your arms above your head and spread your fingers open
gently to stretch your hands, hold for 30 seconds, then repeat. Bend your elbows, lift them to your sides and pull them back, holding for 30 seconds, to stretch your chest.
By now, you’ve passed 5 minutes with small stretches that can help your circulation and lower your blood pressure. It’s a small but valuable gift of time and movement. Try it once a day, then twice.
This is the place – the space – for you to restore and rejuvenate your physical and mental energy. Ease into more movement today.