THE ULTIMATE (AND SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE) STRESS SOLUTION
Is stress ruining your life?
I know you’ve got a lot on your plate and it probably feels like you’re operating in survival mode. You’re tense and frustrated more than you want to be. You can’t truly focus or relax because your brain is always frazzled.
How much longer can you live like this?
I’m sure to the outside world it looks like you’ve got it together, (you’re amazing that way) but inside, you’re not really happy. You’re worried and exhausted a lot. And you’ve been thinking things will get better for as long time.
What’s it going to take to make yourself a priority?
Long-term stress disrupts almost all your body’s processes and puts you at risk for numerous health problems including:
- Anxiety, Depression
- Digestive problems, Weight gain
- Headaches, Memory and concentration impairment
- Heart disease (especially for women!)
- Sleep problems
Are you dealing with any of these yet?
Your journey to a balanced and fulfilling life is vital to your well-being and your most important contribution to yourself and those you love. This is what your life wants from you. The truth is, not creating this for yourself is why you’re stressed out and suffering.
STRESS RELIEF + STRESS REDUCTION = STRESS SOLUTION
You need a way to cope with a challenging moment like being late to an appointment and stuck in a traffic jam, dealing with a difficult person at work that’s been driving you crazy, or lying in bed so worried you can’t sleep. This is stress relief.
And you need a way out of whatever is causing the challenging moments to happen nearly every. single. day. This is stress reduction.
The good news is that the ultimate stress solution is simpler than you think. (PHEW!)
But before you listen to that voice in your head that just said, “Yeah, but…” Give me a chance to show you how SIMPLE it really is.
NOTE: I’m going to address how yoga relieves and reduces stress through the practice of physical postures, breathing, and meditation. Even though I’m separating these to keep it straightforward, please know they are very much connected and involved in the immediate stress relief, and the long-term stress reduction you get from practicing yoga.
When you engage in a physical practice, your stress response is triggered by tension in your muscles.
Tension and discomfort reflexively initiate the stress response, so when you stretch and feel pulling, it’s the muscles initially tensing.
This is an opportunity to override the stress response which is, just a habit of your nervous system.
If you practice relaxing in the midst of this discomfort and tension, you are retraining your body to stop invoking the stress response.
The initial relief may be short-lived, but if practiced regularly, this will shift the automatic stress response to the learned behavior of relaxing and therefore reduce your stress.
Clenching your shoulders is a common example of a physical pattern that causes and exacerbates stress, but can also relieve and reduce it.
If you’re a person who habitually tenses your shoulders when you’re challenged, it becomes chronic and your stress response stays active.
Working to stretch and relax your shoulders can shift the way you experience a challenging situation, and with practice helps you have a more relaxed approach to life.
TRY THIS SIMPLE PRACTICE RIGHT NOW: Hold on to opposite elbows with your arms framing your head and practice relaxing your shoulders.
Working with your breath teaches you how to balance in the nervous system.
There are two contrary parts of this system that regulate stress and relaxation.
When your stress response is activated, the relaxation response relieves the stress.
The most effective way to invoke the relaxation response is to breathe slowly and deeply.
Guiding your breath in this way brings relief in that moment, and a consistent practice shifts the pattern of your nervous system from reacting with the stress response to a relaxed awareness and overall reduced stress.
Holding your breath when you’re anxious is a great example of how your breathing creates and increases stress, but can also relieve and reduce it.
Whether you know it or not, when you’re anxious your breathing is fast and shallow, which triggers and fuels the stress response.
If you practice taking slow diaphragmatic breaths, your present experience won’t be as stressful, and you’ll train yourself to breathe so that you will stay calm in other potentially anxious situations.
TRY THIS SIMPLE PRACTICE RIGHT NOW: Breathe out through your nose for 4 counts. Hold your breath out for 4 counts. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts. Hold your breath in for 4 counts. Without forcing your breathing, repeat 2 more times.
Meditation and other mental practices help you with your mindset and attitude.
Stress is essentially resistance to what is happening and can often be attributed to adverse thoughts.
Your nervous system doesn’t know the difference between thinking something is threatening, and something actually being threatening.
So when your mind gets caught up in fearful thinking, the stress response is activated and at full throttle.
Shifting your thoughts from opposition to allowing begins to adjust the nervous system from stressed to relaxed.
With practice, you recognize adverse thoughts and can train your mind to be less reactive and more calm and open.
Worry is a classic example of how your mind triggers and amplifies stress, but can also relieve and reduce it.
If your thoughts dwell on the worst case scenario (that may or may not be real), your stress response is activated and on overdrive.
If you focus your attention instead on the full range of possibilities, you won’t feel so worried in that moment, and you’ll strengthen your ability to channel more balanced thoughts long-term.
By retraining the automatic reactions of resistance, discomfort, fear, and worry, and instead learn how to move through difficult situations with openness, patience, composure, and equanimity, you relieve the stress of the moment and reduce your struggle with chronic stress.
TRY THIS SIMPLE PRACTICE RIGHT NOW: Ask yourself these questions 1. What am I worried about? 2. Is there a chance it will be ok in the end? 3. Is my worrying doing anything positive in this situation?
ULTIMATELY, IT’S FAIRLY SIMPLE
If you make these therapeutic yoga practices part of your daily life, stress relief and reduction are guaranteed.
Check out how I can guide and support you in learning and implementing the ultimate stress solution through my online program Make Peace with Stress.
NOW YOU TELL ME, HOW WOULD YOUR LIFE CHANGE IF YOU FELT CALM, PRESENT, AND SELF-ASSURED MORE OF THE TIME? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
HI, I’M STEPHANNIE.
I’m a Certified Yoga Therapist on a mission to make yogic wisdom, movements and breathing practices simple so that you can make them part of your routine and be less stressed, more confident, and experience more cam every single day.
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