What are your stress symptoms?
Stress symptoms vary from person to person and some people report an emotional experience such as feeling rushed, overwhelmed, an inability to focus or irritability.
Others experience stress physically and report headaches, stomach aches, stiffness and/or pain around the neck, shoulders and lower back. If you experience constant stress and never give your body the chance to come back to a neutral state, you will live in a constant state of worry, fear, pressure and haste without a break.
Living in this state of hyper-awarenesss can lead to physical and mental health decline. Some signs of ongoing stress are chronic pain, panic attacks, changes to sleep and eating patterns, changes in weight, digestion, moodiness, short temper, changes to blood pressure, and skin irritation.
You may experience multiple symptoms, or experience them one at a time, but we all experience stress to some degree on a regular basis. Once you know how your body responds to stress you can equip yourself with stress busting techniques that work for you.
The next time you say I’m so stressed, take a moment to notice what is going on in your mind and body. Don’t judge the state you are in, just observe it. This will give you some insight into how your mind and body experience and respond to stress.
With mindfulness practice we can change the way we respond to stress, leading to more thoughtful, compassionate and solution focused outcome.
Here are three simple tips to help you de-stress at any time:
These poses will release tension in the head, neck and shoulders and will harmonize the mind, body and breath to reduce stress levels. Use the poses to target specific stress symptoms or use them in sequence to amplify the results:
1) If you are experiencing mental symptoms, try taking five deep breaths. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Make each breath slower than the last, taking in more oxygen and exhaling away stress. This helps to turn off the fight/flight response and calm the nervous system.
2) If you are experiencing pain in the neck and shoulders, try doing five shoulder rolls forward and five rolls back and then one roll down the spine to reset your posture. Follow this with three slow neck circles in each direction, while breathing in and out through the nose at a steady pace. Link your breath to your intentional movements.
3) If you are experiencing stress symptoms in the spine or hips do a simple seated or standing twist. Inhale to keep your spine tall and find lots of space between the ribs and hips and exhale to twist, holding for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
These simple tips will help keep you calm and focused throughout your day.
Author: Lauren Farenga
Editor: Lieselle Davidson