Stress is a part of existing in this place! Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Actually, this is how the brain and body respond to any demand.
In today’s fast paced world, all of us are subject to varying levels of stress. Unlocking the ability to healthily manage it is the magic trick.
We first have to all come to an understanding that while being stressed is indeed a psychological feeling, it manifests physically and carries large impact to the physical body.
There’s no shock to learn that new research finds adults in the United Sates report feeling their highest levels of stress since the pandemic began last year.
A survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) questioned 2,076 people 18 and older in the U.S.
This survey revealed the average stress level on a scale of 1-10 to be 5.6. What is more shocking is that 84 percent of adults say they experienced at least one emotion tied to prolonged stress in the prior 2 weeks. These emotions include; anxiety, sadness, and anger.
Most of us can probably relate to stresses caused by modern lifestyles; work or job dissatisfaction, overwork, not enough time with people we love and appreciate, lack of outside time, loss of connection with others, money, etc.
These cortisol amplifying feelings often start small and snowball into stress that weighs down our chest, minds, and overall energy.
Further, each of us individually carry stress linked to generational trauma and past experiences. These stresses aren’t always forefront but can be triggered and send you straight into central nervous system overload.
Alcoholism, domestic violence, sexual assault and sexual abuse. Hate crimes. Poverty. Intergenerational trauma may present itself through anxiety, and other heightened alert systems in the brain and body but it can also show up as learned behaviors and patterns, the ‘why’ you do what you do.
For more about generational trauma and understanding what that is, give this a read.
Roberta Lee, MD, vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City compares the effects of stress to revving an auto engine all day: “You’ve got your foot on the accelerator all the time, even when you’re resting,” she says, “and you’re overutilizing every element of your body, like you do with a car when you’re revving up an engine. You overuse the oil. You increase heat.”
Overtime, pumping cortisol to the brain can cause hippocampal brain damage that results in disturbed and interrupted sleep-wake cycles.
Too much and chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure. It can change appetite, lead to a low libido, and speed up the aging process.
You get the picture.
This is not conducive to a healthy, happy, and safe lifestyle.
Here are some simple movements of the physical body that help transmute it and promote a sense of relief!
5 Stress Reducing Exercises that Easily Fit Your Daily Routine
It doesn’t have to be long or a certain distance. Taking a fifteen-to-twenty minute walk can go a along way. I suggest walking and enjoying a podcast, some easy -listening music, or simply enjoying the sound of life around you. It is amazing what a short even 5 minute walk can do for the mind and body.
Try it out, I dare you!
From the awesome work I’ve been doing with Emily Blackwell (Life Coach mentioned in last post, will tag her at bottom here too!) I have implemented a daily morning dancing routine. This kick starts my day with feeling in-my-body and confident.
Go for as long or as short of time as you want. Find a playlist or make a playlist of songs you feel you can let loose with. I don’t always do it in front of a mirror but have, and enjoy the goofiness that arises and contributes to making my day fabulous. If you do this for a week straight, every day with discipline, you will tell a difference in stress. I promise.
The practice is meant to connect mind and body, something stress does all so well for us. But, taping into the yoga mindset we are bringing focus to breath, movement, and alignment. With consistency you will notice a great difference in your stress levels as your practice becomes a place of surrender and release.
Putting your hands on or perhaps in the ground is grounding. When anxiety strikes we are elevated in the body mind space. Spending time in the garden gets you moving more than you realize… bending, stretching, digging, carrying pots and watering cans.
These movements elevate the heart rate while helping you possibly manicure and beautify a space and promoting calm. * If gardening triggers stress, mark this one off.
This is probably the most powerful practice. There is so much to learn about our breath, different breathing techniques, and how to condition the breathing muscles to breathe better! Here, I will think my favorite tried and true breathing exercise that calms anxiety and reduces it. If you can commit to a disciplined practice including this breathing exercise for a week, I bet your overall levels will reduce.
None of these exercises require much time in your daily schedule. Set an alarm for 5 minutes, if that’s too much start with 2 and build from there. Consciously giving yourself some time to heal and transmute that stress!
Everyone handles stressful situations differently.
The reality is, however, that stress is the largest silent killer in this world.
Our body temples can only take so much, along with our intricate ever-working minds. Take some time to slow down, first and foremost if you have been feeling super-stressed lately.
Getting enough rest is the biggest piece of stress reduction!
Then, when you feel ready take one or all of these exercises and give them a whirl. I promise if you are able to stick to one and develop a daily practice it will cut your stress levels dramatically.