Whether we are doing something that is joyful or miserable our bodies can experience stress. For example, planning a wedding or birthday celebration can be joyful to our emotional bodies, while our physical bodies undergo stress. In fact, we don't have to be doing anything at all; our bodies experience stress simply because we exist. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life.” Between the combination of external forces (life’s demands) as well as internal expectations (our should’s and To Do’s), our bodies can spend more time in a stressful state than not. Is it possible to invert this ratio?
Obviously, one thing we can do to reduce stress is eliminate, or at least decrease, the factors that cause it. Most of us have room to substantially simplify our lives. Maybe we don’t engage so often with negative influences including unpleasant media, angry people or overly hectic schedules. Imagine creating a To Do list which is prioritized by things you actually enjoy!
To counteract the effects of stress, and to create more balance in our lives, many have discovered relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation. These practices allow us to relax our minds while nurturing or resting our bodies. But what do you do if you find yourself feeling stressed and have to skip your meditation class or don't have the time or space to dive into a Sun Salutation?
Since stress can overwhelm you at any time or place, I am offering five techniques you can do that are simple, quick and require no props. You can do these exercises independently or in various combinations. Maybe you take just five minutes for yourself and do them all!
Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate stresses from our lives, it only takes a little time and willingness to nurture ourselves through them.