Posted on February 21st, 2011
Who’s not stressed? All of us—no matter how yogic or meditative or all-round relaxed—get worked up sometimes. (Except maybe my always-smiling, always pretty happy friend Swami Maheshananda Saraswati—but he’s a Swami.) Stress is one of the most pressing and prevalent health concerns in today’s busy world. We’re all working to the max, putting in longer hours than ever before, raising families, staying fit, and trying to stay connected with friends and family. It’s a lot.
That’s why My Yoga Online’s Michelle Trantina came up with the De-Stress Express Whole Health Program. We understand how busy life can be, and how important whole health is in order to manage it all. This program is jam-packed with stress-busting tips and tools for you to take away and use in your day-to-day life. We’re sharing eight of our favourites here, and eight more are on the way over the next eight days on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t miss ‘em!
1. The effects of the fight or flight response, aka stress response, don't always go away once the stressor is gone. Stress hormones can continue to be released when thinking of the stressor; tensed muscles won't release; and digestion can remain inhibited. Plus, your body treats the stress as real, even if you're simply re-living or imagining it—i.e. even if it's just in your head.
2. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is here to help. The PNS governs actions opposite to the sympathetic nervous system—the "digest and rest" ones. It lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs. In other words, it calms us down. We can help the PNS do its thing: Breathe deeply, exercise and do asana, eat a mindful, balanced diet, take digestive supplements (if your doc says it's okay), and do anything else that helps you calm down.
3. Try keeping track of your stress in a journal. Write down what you were doing when you felt stressed; you’ll begin to see patterns, and, once you have, can begin to take preventative or reactive steps, according to your personal needs.
4. Use your commute. Whether you’re on a bus, in your car, or on your bike, you can transform this time into a meditation by simply focusing on long, deep, breathing.
5. Eckhart Tolle, Ram Das, and tons of other spiritual leaders, are right. Stay in the now. Don’t multi-task. Do one thing, talk to one person, and take on one job at a time.
6. Remember that, as master yoga teacher Max Strom says, we can’t feel gratitude and stress at the same time. Try remembering to give thanks: For the good people in your life, for a great pair of shoes, for sunshine—for anything that you feel grateful for.
7. Walk mindfully. Your feet can be a source of stress-reduction, too. Soften your stomp to soften your entire body. We can alter our body’s state from the ground up.
8. You’ve got the power. Until we accept we are responsible for our own stress, our stress level will stay beyond our control. Take time to figure out how to take responsibility for your stress—and how to take your stress level down.
About Lindsey Lewis
I'm a Kundalini and Hatha yoga teacher, whole health lover, plus a bazilion other things, and lucky to be part of the team behind the scenes at My Yoga Online. Connect with me on my profile on My Yoga Online, and on Twitter and Facebook.
8 Days to De-Stress Express
For more tips on how to de-stress, fast, connect with My Yoga Online on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be posting them there regularly over the next eight days.
WHOLE HEALTH PROGRAMS
The My Yoga Online Whole Health Programs are the pro-active solutions project of love, headed up by yoga teacher-turned wellness business woman Michelle Trantina, co-founder of My Yoga Online. Conceived as a way to help busy people live truly healthy lives, Michelle created the programs with a physician, a group of carefully selected wellness practitioners, and the help of her colleagues—yoga teachers and whole health aficionados Kreg Weiss (also co-founder of My Yoga Online) and Lindsey Lewis.
Tags: Destress, Relieve Stress, Stress, stress management