5 Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress
Today is special. Something I’ve waited 3 years for is finally manifesting…I’m getting a dog!
Her name is Aiyanna (so pretty, right?) She's smart and sweet and goofy. I’ve been on the edge of my seat all week! She arrives tonight and I knew that these last few hours would be the most stressful and nerve-wracking of all. So, I decided to try some new strategies to address the nervous energy that is coming up for me.
Full disclosure, my first instinct is to find a distraction so that I don’t have to think about or feel anything. This is a pattern I picked up as a kid. The thing is, I don’t want to be distracted anymore and I definitely don’t want to suppress my emotions. They’ll just come back bigger and badder in the future so that I won’t be able to ignore them. I see the pattern and this time I’m choosing something different.
Here are 5 Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress
1. Breathing: Breathing moves energy and clears up feelings of “stuckness.” The breathing technique I chose, was to sit on a grass mat for 15 minutes and breathe in and out through my nose while connecting my breath. Another simple one is to breathe in for 4 counts, hold it for 4 counts, breathe out for 4 counts and hold it for 4 counts. There are lots of exercises out there so experiment and find one that works for you.
2. Writing: Writing is a great tool for letting go of racing thoughts. Sometimes I will start with a statement like “I am stressed because…” and just free write for 15 minutes to see what comes up. Today, I got out my journal and wrote down all the thoughts were distracting me, how I felt, what my expectations were, etc. This definitely helped to get my emotions out. Emotions just want to be expressed and, for me, writing is a very safe way to do that.
3. Visualization: Once upon a time I would have laughed at the idea of “visualization.” I would have thought (1) it was total crap and (2) I was not creative or capable of doing it. Today (thankfully) I feel very differently. So, for this one I sat cross-legged on the floor and visualized roots growing from my feet and tailbone into the earth. Then I sent any thoughts, fears, worries or insecurities right to the earth. I let the earth absorb them and recycle them into light and energy. If you are just starting with visualization I highly recommend Russell Lipensky’s “Vision Den.” Get it here.
4. Get Into Nature: Getting out of my office and into nature is the best medicine in the world. Luckily, here in Savannah we have tons of beautiful parks and open spaces to explore. No matter where you are, no matter how busy you are, give yourself a break and go for a walk in the fresh air. You deserve it and I promise it will help.
5. Move Your Body: Sometimes energy and emotions get stuck in our bodies and we need to physically move them out. I happen to enjoy running so sometimes a good run is just what I need. If running isn’t your thing, then dancing is a fun and light way to move energy. Today, I put on “Nothing Better” by American Authors and let loose! If you're not a "dance like nobody is watching" person, try shaking your arms, hands and shoulders for 60 seconds. I guarantee you will feel the energy vibrating throughout your body.
Now for your challenge: Try these out and let me know how you feel!
PS: Welcome to the family, Aiyanna!