This is a guest article written by Amy White, an International Best-Selling Author, highly sought after speaker, and Intuitive Medium on a mission to help individuals heal the past, discover personal truths, and thrive. Amy’s one-on-one coaching, digital courses, and public talks allow audiences to gain a deeper understanding of the beliefs that are blocking their most authentic lives. Her insights and techniques help usher in big, bold changes and more subtle “ah-ha” moments that lead us closer towards our dreams.
Relax. Take a few minutes off from what you are doing. You’ve been at it long enough.
Isn’t it interesting how modern life has us so conditioned to push, strive, drive, and make things happen, that we often disregard our health and wellness in the process? Pandemic-life aside, all this doing while ignoring our body, mind, and spirit’s needs, can be stressful. Then layer the past year of major uncertainty, as we’ve tried to hold it all together, while traversing the unknown, and it’s not surprising that stress levels are through the roof.
The good news is that mitigating stress, especially before it builds momentum, can be as easy as taking five for yourself. Here are some simple, yet deeply grounding ways, to release and relieve stress:
- Be intentional: Being aware and purposeful about how one moves through each day, can reduce or even eliminate some of the causes of stress. Start each day with an intention to be more tuned into the pace in which you move from task to task as well as the focus you place on the shifting of gears. One powerful intention is to create a short pause in-between actions, meetings, or errands. It’s like a magic reset button for your nervous system.
- Breathe: Another simple but deeply grounding practice involves the breath. So many of us are pushing the “pedal to the metal” from morning to night without taking time to catch our breath. Setting aside time for 5-7 deep, belly breaths upon awakening each morning, can help to set the tone for the entire day. This practice brings one back into the physical body and deepens the connection physically and energetically. Not to mention, having more oxygen in the system boosts mental clarity, increases immune system response, and improves respiratory health.
- Connect inward: Many of us spend a considerable amount of time, each day, outwardly focused. Striving primarily for external satisfaction. It’s hard not to focus our attention in this manner since most of the conditioning we’ve received since our youth, points to the importance of external validation. But when we can start to create, and then foster, a deeper relationship with ourselves, we begin to realize that much of the stress we are experiencing is related to the split energy (internal vs. external focus) we are feeling. Like any relationship, the one we form and nurture within ourselves takes time, patience, and compassion. The more we practice, the more deeply grounded we will feel.
- Feel your feelings: This may seem counterintuitive to reducing stress, but the act of calling our feelings by name actually deepens our grounding. When we are in resistance to our true feelings, this is where stress can build up. Wanting emotions to go away, judging ourselves harshly or trying to by-pass our feelings can stress our physical system. It can feel scary. And, for most, it is a practice that begins with one small step, then another, then another. Each time we name an emotion, and we find that it doesn’t knock us off our feet, we can build the trust that we can feel other emotions, more of the time. This practice allows us to shift from denial to awareness, and pivot from the stress of hiding our feelings to acknowledgment and healing.
- Move your body: When the mind is ruminating and stress is building, taking time for movement is essential. Physical movement is a powerful catalyst to moving energy through the body. When energy is moving, good feeling hormones are released and stress is reduced. In the middle of a stressful day, this movement practice can be as simple as doing some seated stretches at your desk or in the kitchen. There is no requirement for strenuous exercise to get the benefits of movement. It is best to listen to what your body needs to bring yourself back to your grounding.