Stress management basically means learning how to manage stress by witnessing it and releasing it. Stress management is simply a daily process of letting go (letting go of tension stored in the body/mind. Without this letting go process, we become candidates for ulcers, heart attacks, migraines and premature aging – all known to be caused by stress. Stress management techniques, allow us to discover and experience how we hold emotions, thoughts, and experiences in our bodies. Exercises will offer us the opportunity to tune into different moods, feelings, attitudes, and states of consciousness beside the low-grade stress levels most people in our society operate under.
CALM YOUR MIND & LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
In our busy information society, we are constantly bombarded by external stimuli. A good stress management program, can help tune out the exterior world, and allow the participant to drop inside their bodies and find a place of stillness. Some techniques that aid in this process, are deep breathing, extended stretching, and body scanning – all done in a quiet, warm room, with soft music playing, or simply the relaxing sound of one’s own deep breathing. We learn to increase the probability of desired moods and feelings through our heightened self–awareness, while simultaneously decreasing negative states of anxiety. Excess of stress can also result in an extended period “flight or fight syndrome” which over time can drain the adrenal glands. Participants in a stress management program gain a powerful awareness of how to positively influence health, reactions, feelings and response. A good mind/body class can give clients the tools they can use for the rest of their lives to reduce stress.
REDUCE STRESS WITH YOGA
Yoga is the 6,000 year old secret to health and vitality. Yoga can be considered technology for getting back in touch with our true essence and ourselves. It is a way of remembering the health and wholeness that is our natural state of being. Yoga, when broken down to its most simple form, is breathing and feeling. Through this breathing and feeling we learn to control our reactions to events and people. It is not the events and people in our lives that give us stress, but rather the way we react to them. What makes yoga unique in terms of reducing stress is in its multifaceted approach. By working at the physical and psychological levels concurrently, yoga reduces stress at each level and this reduction in stress is supported by the work done at other levels. Yoga postures combined with deep breathing facilitate deep relaxation that combats stress both physically and emotionally.
Physically: Yoga massages the skeletal system which supports bone mass and growth while taking the stress away from the supporting muscles and tendons. Yoga mechanically removes tension from the muscles through stretching. The steady even yoga breathing reduces stress levels in the body. Stress response is accompanied by rapid, shallow breathing. Yoga encourages deep diaphragmatic breathing activating a relaxation response. Yoga also massages the internal organs reducing high blood pressure, and stress in the cardiovascular system at the level of the heart, arteries and blood. The nerves are massaged and stretched through yoga, conducting messages; throughout the body.
Emotionally: the body believes what the mind believes. Affirmations about peace, calm, and tranquility, along with positive imagery are conveyed to the nervous system. Yoga brings greater relationship with others, life, and us. As we begin to explore these relationships more, we see which interactions genuinely support us in moving towards calmness. As we become more relaxed through yoga and stress management classes, we release addictive behaviors, which are often used to relieve stress. Yoga brings awareness to the emotional blocks that limit our experience of life. Our perception of life has been conditioned by our experiences and sometimes we close ourselves off from feelings and emotions. Through yoga we learn to bring awareness to all parts of ourselves with the understanding that through integration, we come to a natural place of balance. Many of our stressful habit patterns are conditioned. Yoga teaches a whole set of patterns which are helpful in reducing stress.