With stress levels hitting a national 17-year high, and stress-related illnesses overtaking physical disorders for days off work, having an understanding of stress’s mind-body connection, can help us to manage the symptoms, especially if we can spot the signs.
What is stress? Normal levels of stress can be motivating; however, too much as a product of our fast-paced society, can be damaging. Stress causes inflammation (our body’s immune response), and is associated with many health conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, insomnia, IBS, and depression.
So how can we self-manage stress? Engaging in Mindfulness, Yoga, music, creativity, and nature can all help to balance our nervous and immune systems.
What is Yoga? Postural Yoga is only one-eighth of the practice that includes breathing and mindful meditation, so, if you can breath, you can reduce stress with Yoga! Here’s a quick exercise to practice for between 2 to 5 minutes:
Inhale through your nose to the count of 5; exhale through your mouth also for 5.
Breath deeply into your belly with your eyes closed or hold a soft gaze.
Incorporate an awareness of physical sensations, such as air temperature in the nostrils, the rise and fall of the belly, etc.
Don’t worry if your mind wanders – just notice where its gone, coming back to focusing on the breath.
Tristessa Moore is a registered Yoga Therapist (CNHC) who delivers well-being to school pupils, educational staff, businesses, and to the general public. For more information: www.yogatherapyhull.co.uk or @yogatherapyhull