Heather Stegmaier, M.AmSAT

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Entries in conscious rest (2)

Friday
Jun282013

Stop Stress Immediately: Incorporate These Three Steps

Stress and tension are a part of our daily lives. In fact, it has become the norm in our culture these days. When asked the simple question, “How are you?” a common response is often, “I’ve been so busy! Things have been stressful and crazy!” The stress in our lives creates tension in the body, which can lead to chronic pain.

No matter what type of stress you are under, the tension and pain are very real. Tension and pain are physical symptoms of our stressed out mental state.

I will take this one step further to say that stress is also a symptom. Stress is a mental symptom of our external environment.

So how do we stop this vicious cycle?

The solution lies in choice and conscious thought. When faced with a stress-full experience, situation, or environment follow these steps:

  1. Hit the pause button—before you “freak out” take one second to stop and bring awareness to yourself 
  2. Insert conscious thought—now that you’ve wedged a big old pause in-between your stress and freak out, insert some instructions for yourself by thinking (or saying out loud!), “I am not reacting to this situation.”
  3. Follow through—keep pausing, keep thinking, “I am not reacting…” Continue to bring awareness to yourself and your response to a stress-full situation.

By working on your reaction to stress-full things, you have the opportunity to override your physical reaction to stress. This results in less tension and gaining control over yourself and how you handle stress.

This powerful tool is called INHIBITION in the Alexander Technique. It is a very important step in gaining mastery over your mind and body.

This takes practice! Try it when you’re not stressed out by practicing conscious rest. Then, when you are faced with daily stress, you have a new tool to use.

I’d love to hear from you and how—by following these three steps— you were able to override your stress reaction. Share your experience below in the comments below.

Thursday
Jun132013

Give it a rest! Slow down your crazy, busy day by trying this “activity”

Busy lives and crazy days don’t give us much time for rest. On the one hand, leading a crazy, busy life can be a good thing! Some may say it means that you are leading a full life. However, over a long period of time, your busy life and crazy days can lead to chronic tension, pain, stress, and fatigue.

The Alexander Technique offers a lovely solution to being stressed out and tired. It is also a great way to start to relieve chronic pain. It’s called Conscious Rest and will only take a few minutes out of your crazy, busy day.

Try it right now:

  • Grab a yoga mat and lay down on your back with a book or two under your head
  • Place your feet on the mat so your knees are bent

That’s it! Well….not quite…

Once you get into this position your body is resting, but I bet you anything your mind is still very active. And if you dig a bit deeper, your body is still probably holding on to a lot of layers of tension that you don’t even realize. (For example, you may be clenching your jaw really tight).

Take 5 minutes to quiet the mind while you rest your body.

Use this time to say NO. This means…

…say NO to all the mental chatter, worries, and to-do lists crowding your mind. Ask for quiet.

…say NO to holding your breath. Allow your breath to flow naturally without interference.

…say NO to clenching your jaw. Release your jaw and tongue—just let them go.

…say NO to narrowing and tightening your back. Allow your back to lengthen.

This practice of resting your body while quieting your mind works wonders. The hardest part is taking time out of our crazy, busy day to do it!

Try it now for five minutes and leave a comment below on any changes you noticed.

I can’t wait to hear from you! 

 

Cause you're the only one that has control of what you need/and there's no sense in the way you worry all your life/so how you gonna grow if you don't know you're draggin' you down?/you'll waste the rest of your days if you worry all your life

from the song "Worry All Your Life" by Sera Cahoone, 2012