Stress is so common in our lives. But just because something is common, does not mean that it is normal! Unfortunately though, it has become a ‘normal’ part of our everyday life. We have busy careers, many of which expect us to be ‘on’ all the time - answering emails, phone calls and working from home in the evening. We have households to run, family, children, friends to look after. Our list is ever growing. The fact is we have normalised stress as just something you have to deal with - however there are ways in which we can assist our body to release the stress from it.
The Purpose of Stress
Not all stress is bad, and there is a purpose for this type of stress. We have an inbuilt stress response for when we are in danger. When this happens, our brain alerts our body to the danger and sends out adrenaline and cortisol as a response. This energy is used to either stand and defend you (fight) or to run away as quickly as possible (flight).
The problem we face is that this is largely a body response. Your conscious mind doesn’t even have time to decipher if the danger is real or perceived, and your body is already flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. So whether you are being chased by a tiger, or you are doing something that scares you, like a speech, your brain and body respond in the same way. Over time, the more stress you’re under, the more it affects you. Some of the immediate effects include: elevated heart rate, tense muscles, rising blood pressure, evacuation of bladder and bowels.
Each time you perceive yourself to be in danger, your brain sends out stress hormones. When it turns out that you are not actually in any imminent danger, the hormones are left sparking around your body. That’s when you start to experience feelings of anxiety, restlessness, nervousness and irritability. Getting into the habit of releasing the tense energy from your body, helps you to centre yourself and allows you to feel balanced. Below are 4 ways to move the energy from your body.
4 Ways to Release Stress from Your BodyTapping
EFT tapping works by tapping the meridian points around the body. Similar to acupuncture or acupressure, tapping your meridian points puts pressure onto the areas of your body where it is believed that energy flows through. Tapping your fingers onto these points helps you to access your body’s energy and sends signals to the part of the brain which controls stress.
The belief is that by stimulating these points, the tense energy is shifted and balance is restored to your mind, your mood and your nervous system. To do this, you tap on the following places each 7 times, in this order:
3. Side of each eye
4. Under each eye
5. Under the nose
7. Beginning of the collarbone
8. Under the arm
While you tap, you repeat a phrase that acknowledges your current stressful issue and that accepts yourself despite the problem For eg “Even though I am afraid to do this speech, I completely accept myself”
Dancing + Singing
Dancing and singing are two of the quickest ways to drop into your heart space and feel whatever is happening in your body. The response your body will feel is totally dependent on your choice of music. You could put on something that encourages you to scream out and yell, something that is a power song that makes you sing out “hell yes, I have got this!” or a song that boosts up your confidence. The movement from dancing, and the vocals from singing are both highly effective ways at moving tension and releasing stress and energy from the body.
Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. On a mental level, whatever you are thinking about loses focus when you concentrate on the breaths you are taking. It literally is impossible to over think or to stress, when you’re focussed on breathing in and out. On a physical level, when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. All the immediate side effects of stress, like the high blood pressure and increased heart rate, are instantly decreased from deep breathing. An easy breathing exercise to practice is:
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position
2. Place one hand on your heart, and one on your womb
3. Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose for a count of 4
4. Hold that breath for a count of 7
5. Breathe out for a count of 8
While doing this exercise, you can repeat the mantra “breathe in peace, breathe out tension” or you could visualise a space in nature that makes you feel calm and happy - whether it is a real place or imagined.
Primal screaming is a little different - but extremely effective at releasing tension and stress from your mind, your body and your soul. It is basically what it sounds like - standing and screaming in the way that feels good for you! I’m sure you’ve experienced the feeling of wanting to scream out loud before - whether it’s from stubbing your toe, out of frustration in an argument, or just purely feeling mad! However, it’s not socially acceptable to stand in the middle of the mall and yell your lungs out! Screaming releases the stress, it releases all the pent up energy and it feels good. This modality of therapy also includes punching a pillow or boxing bag, or really crying it out of your system.
What do you currently do to release your stress? Which of these would you try first?
Disclaimer: This blog post is in no way offering medical advice or expertise. It is not directing you to change any current medical plans that you are currently undertaking. It is not a way to diagnose any medical related issues. This blog post is purely an opinion and experience based piece of writing. If you are experiencing chronic stress, I urge you to speak to your trusted medical professional.Author: Amy Most
Amy is a Mindset and Nourishment Coach as well as a Human Design Reader. She helps to flip self doubt and limiting mindset, through embracing human design, in order to help others live a more empowered life.