Thursday, January 19, 2017

Manage Your Stress - Part 1 of 4

Simply put, stress is our emotional, mental and physical reaction to an event that causes bodily or mental tension. 

Much of the time we can't control the external event itself; but what we can control is our reaction to it.There is personal, social and job related stress; some good, most bad. 

Regardless of the type of stress, however, the health implications are real and include:
  • Inability to sleep 
  • Excessive sleep
  • Binge eating 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Irrational behaviors
  • Bouts with depression
  • Mood disorders
For the past 6 weeks I've been visiting various groups to discuss managing stress using meditation, mindfulness and yoga.The purpose of the workshop is not to help distract you from the stress but to help you manage your body’s response to it. 
I got such a good response from the attendees that I wanted to share the information here. Because there is SO MUCH, this is the first post in a series of 4.
The key difference between the methods I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks and traditional stress relief methods (reading, watching TV, or cocktails with a good friend) is that meditation, yoga and mindfulness encourage the mind-body connection.
Instead of focusing on someone else’s story these methods shift your focus inward, eliciting a relaxation response and teaching your body what it feels like to release built up stress-triggered tension. 
Ready to start NOW? 
If you’re ready to start now, why not try a simple breathing meditation. We’ll talk about meditation more in detail next week. Repeat the following sequence 3-4 times (or more), until you start to feel your body enter a relaxation state.
  • Exhale completely out of your mouth.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a mental count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, to a count of eight.

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