Work is putting the pressure on, the Family Social Calendar is on overload, you keep trying to hold it all together and maintain an appearance of everything is fine… but it’s not. Inside you may feel annoyed, resentful, angry or even a bit down in the dumps. Stress is not to be underestimated. Brushing it under the carpet can amplify the problems rather than using smart strategies to untangle your Stress. Let’s take a look at 5 Simple Secrets to managing your Stress.
- Bend & Stretch
Yoga sees tight hip flexors as areas that hold a lot of stress, especially if you have a desk job. Being able to stretch and release your hip flexors, in particular your Psoas muscle deep in your lower back, helps ease stress, anxiety & fear. Yoga calls the Psoas the ‘Muscle of the Soul’ and various lunge postures are it’s anti-dote.
- Let your Inner Artist loose, get creative.
The research says 45 minutes of art making lowers stress hormones such as cortisol. They even go on to say you don’t have to be good at it to get the benefits. This says a lot for the merits of Art Therapy. Let your inner Picasso flow and get creative.
- Go where the Water Flows.
River, lake, Ocean – the power is in the ‘blue’ spaces. We all know getting back to nature helps regulate our bio-rhythms (just from a weekend camping we get this strong sense). This latest research says “being able to see the water was associated with better mental health for just about everyone.” So get pout into nature and admire the trees and water around you, it does wonders for your nervous system.
- Music to your Ears
Although this study focused on taking saliva samples before and after a classical music event, the researchers agree it opens up the potential for further research into music and its stress-reducing effects. They say playing classical music to children helps develop creativity and brain development. For adults it seems to be more of a calming effect with cortisol levels dropping after such an event. Why not try it on for yourself? Does going to a classical music event make you feel relaxed or stimulated?
5. R & R and make it about YOU.
Teaching is NOT glorified babysitting! Inspiring young minds, engaging students and looking after their wellbeing is all part of the job, before you even get to the admin, budgeting and paperwork.
This study showed in a teaching environment in Canada less reports to write, less marking and critical feedback for teachers produced higher performing students. They gave big ticks to more holidays and more personal development too.
- Go straight to the Stress Point
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are many points that are effective at de-stressing people. One in particular is said to help with improving sleep, and in cases of depression as it eases stress & anxiety. It’s called Liver 3 and you should remember this point! Acupressure can be just as effective to use on yourself during times of stress or when you’re taking a break. In my clinical practice I use this point all the time on individuals that are stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted and tense.