Thursday, June 17, 2010

3 Stress Relief Exercises

Stress is a state of tension, in fact one could replace the word 'stress' by 'tension' a lot of the time. Tension is a natural part of the process of an action: first, one thinks, projects an action and a coil-like energy, tension, is created in order to assist the development of that action. Then, when the result is achieved, that coil is then completely released.

When a tension becomes stress is when one can not complete the process that we started, or when an influence coming from an outside source puts us in a situation that we think, at the time, we can not solve and which creates tension, stress and upset.

At those times when we feel great stress I have found that what appears extreme requires some extreme measures to be taken to release these poisonous sensations from the body-mind.
I would suggest 3 easy ways that are within reach of mostly everyone.

The first is 'Stamping the Feet' - on the ground of course! 

Again I will emphasise deep out-breaths with each stamping movement. 

If you are so inclined and do not have noise problems in your surroundings, you can allow sounds to manifest with each out-breath.

The second is 'Punching'.
Spine straight, 
Stand, feet shoulder-width apart 
Knees bent slightly 
Make fists of both hands and place them just above the hips 
Breathe in 
Punch forward with one fist, breathing out 
Bring back the arm to the hip while breathing in 
Repeat with the other arm. 
If you are feeling angry or frustrated this will not be difficult. In fact it will be almost second nature!

The third is Shaking and Breathing’.
It is simply shaking the body - or rather 'letting shaking happen' - from the legs up, without actually 'doing it', but rather giving in to it. Also, we 'open' the breath by allowing all the in-breath the body needs and above all, letting the out-breath be released fully.
This last point is the most important.
Remain aware of having your feet on the ground!
And also, let the whole body shake while remaining as loose as possible. Do this for a few minutes. When you stop, stay still for a while, with eyes closed, feeling the body sensations.

A reminder:
Let the out-breath be longer than the in-breath and remain aware of the body sensations during these exercises.
These three psycho-physical exercises, consciously using movement and breath to release pent-up energy in the body-mind, can definitely help to let go of the knotted-up tension that prevents one thinking clearly or acting effectively. Therefore using them allows us to then be able to re-assess the situation in a clearer, more appropriate and creative way.

Francoise Bonhoure 
Francoise has found Unique Solutions to Transform Stress into Well-Being and has started a Weekly Newsfeed.

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