Winter Wellness – Part 4 – Lose the stress

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This week I am gearing up to do my first 3 hour exam in over 20 years and I am feeling the stress creeping in with each day moving me closer to it.   It is amazing how sly stress can be! Honestly, just when I think that I’m on top of things and have this study thing sorted life gets on top of me and before I know it, I’m feeling that tension throughout my body.  

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Thankfully we have lots of nature to get out into and de-stress

The bus isn’t the easiest place to study I have to say, apparently if you can be seen you must be spoken to :), and when you’re in a small town there aren’t that many quiet places to head off to either. So, I’m trying my best to get out of the stress loop by using the tools in my kete (basket) that I know work for me.  I figured that in a culture which too often rates your ability to cope under stress as an indicator of people’s success, others may like to try some of these little beauties to remove some of that stress naturally rather than having to ‘cope’ with it.

Get moving.  Exercise (aerobic especially) is proven to help relieve stress and other negative emotions such as depression.  When we move our bodies, it helps loosen and work all those muscles that you may be holding in tension, it gets you changing your focus, in increases oxygen to the brain and best of all those ‘feel good’ hormones get released.  Any kind of movement is good so pick one that you love and try and get out in nature with it to increase the benefits. 

Have a laugh.  Laughing creates a euphoric effect that will instantly release any tension you have. It can trigger the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers and feel good hormone) which helps you to feel better all over and to relax.  Laughter yoga is now offered in many places and can be a great way to connect with new people however failing that it may just be a good excuse to watch those comedies, silly youtube clips and share all those jokes you have!

Count to 10.  Taking deep breathes and a wee bit of time out is an age old classic that costs nothing and is very effective. The key to this is breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth as this helps relax the whole body … it is hard to keep tension in your body with your mouth open.  Research also shows that deep breathing helps trigger the vagus nerve (a cranial nerve which helps regulate the heart, digestion and lungs) and works with the parasympathic nervous system to bring us into that ‘rest and digest’ state of being rather than stuck in ‘fight/flight or freeze’ state of being. 

Meditate.  Even 5 mins a day of meditation will help stress levels though of course the longer you meditate the greater the benefits. This doesn’t have to be a big deal just find a quite spot, close your eyes (or look downwards, relaxing your gaze) and clear your mind of as much as you can.  First thing in the morning to ‘set you up’ for the day or last thing at night to help you unwind and get a good sleep can be really effective times.  There are loads of apps out there now which can help you get into the right headspace.

Essential oils.  Scent has a powerful impact on our bodies and can bring up memories and emotions easily. This is in part due to the fact that the olfactory nerve (whose nerve fibres in the nose allow us smell) are connected to the limbic system in the brain, rather than going through the cerebral cortex (our thinking part) which triggers these ‘primitive’ responses to what we are smelling.  Lavender is the most popular relaxant but there are plenty others to try.  This link may help you to begin your experimentation with scent.

Stretch.  A good stretch can help with the physical symptoms of stress.  Like exercise it gets you moving those muscles that may have been held in tension. Try a class of yoga which will combine breathing, stretching and exercise for a real stress reliever or even a basic stretch at your desk and see how good it feels. Here is a link to a few suggestions.

Bach Flower Remedies.  As many of you know I love Bach Flower Remedies and I’m a big believer that emotions dictate our health unless we intervene.  Bach Flowers are designed to work on emotions and can target the source of your negative emotions helping to increase the positive.  White Chestnut is a classic for those who continue with ‘mental conversations and/or internal arguments’, whereas Agrimony can help those who hide their stress behind a smile.  If you want to learn more and try a treatment bottle then check out my FREE quiz to find your remedies (don’t worry you don’t have to sign up to anything) and e-mail me to make you up a bottle. Otherwise you can find out more about Bach Flowers and have your own guide by checking out my book ‘Finding Calm and Balance’ which is on sale at a special price for the next week or so, along with my other e-books.

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Only 99c (US) at the moment along with my other books

Hope this finds you a little calmer, a little less tense and enjoying the life you have.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Healing Hands Reflexology

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My mind is still filled with all those families who are now learning to live without their loved ones.  I constantly think about how magnified their emotions must be, not only with grief but also dealing with the way the loss occurred, of what the future holds and possibly a sense of uncertainly in their own community.

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For that reason I thought that I would share a bit of my Healing Hands workshop so that people can put it to use at home or out and about as they deal with the everyday stresses with everyday situations which may trigger huge emotions to surface.   Reflexology is such a great tool for well-being and since feet aren’t always that practical to get to when emotions arise, I love to use hand reflexology.  It is a bit of self love and soothing that you can be using, anytime, anywhere,  without anyone being the wiser.

Reflexology is a natural, holistic treatment which works on the principle that everything in the body is connected.  It is is a mixture of ancient wisdom and modern thinking where by the nerve endings in the feet and hands can be massaged in a particular way to help bring the body back into balance.  (Read more here)

What I’m offering here is a very basic guide as to where some points are in the hand which can help elevate the stress reaction as emotions come up.  The points shown in the images are ones you can rub and/or massage to help bring you some calm in order to move forward.  For the purposes of self calming and self love it really doesn’t matter how you approach the massage rather focus on breathing deep while holding the intention of calm and love with you as you work so that your body can respond in kind. In fact I would suggest any hand rubbing, twisting, shaking and clicking with the intention of release would be fantastic!

These points relate to parts of the body which frequently come into play as part of our stress (fight or flight) response.  Our breathing can quicken so rubbing the top of our palms (lung points) can help bring our breath back into balance. Our heads can spin so rubbing the fingertips (head, brain and sinus points) can help to bring clear thinking back into play.  Our shoulders and back tense up so rubbing the base of the little finger (shoulder point) and along the edge of our thumb and wrist (spine and nervous system) can ease the tension for example.

So without further ado I’ll let you look below and give it ago ……… don’t be shy, just try it and you’ll be impressed with how much more relaxed you can feel.  I was thinking about making a wee video of it all in action so if you think this would be helpful please leave a comment below and I’ll get cracking 🙂

Healing Hands Mini Stress Relief Routine

  • Pictures are all shown palms up.
  • Remember to take care of yourself so if anything hurts then ease up or miss it out. 
  • These are only guidelines, if you find a technique which is better for you then go with that. 
  • If it seems too much and overwhelming then just focus on one or two points to start with.
  • Breath as deep and slow as you can throughout the routine if possible. 

Begin with shaking out your hands then squeeze, twist and pull each thumb and finger. Rub hands together gently (front and back) while taking some deep breaths before starting the points below.

  1. Head and Brain points:  These are your finger tips.  Rub/massage in a circular motion with the thumb of the opposite hand or whatever feels good for you. This will help to bring calm and balance to the mind as well as hitting on some endocrine and sinus points.

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2. Chest and Lung points: This is the area is at the base of your fingers and the top of your palm.  You will feel the metacarpal heads (the other side of your knuckles) and the base of these is pretty much the lower part of this point.  Using the thumb or fingers of the opposite hand rub/massage across this area.  This will help to balance your breath and give more oxygen to the brain to bring calm.

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3. Diaphragm Points: This is at the base of the lung area or just below the bony metacarpal heads. Using the thumb of the opposite hand ‘caterpillar walk’ or rub across this line in both directions. Again this helps with bringing balance to the breath.

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4. Solar Plexus Points:  This is the in the centre of the diaphragm line above and in line with the middle of your palm.  You should press on this point with the thumb of the opposite hand while taking slow, deep breaths.  Do three breaths .. pressing in as you breath in and release at you breath out.  Repeat as many times as necessary to bring almost instant calm.

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5. Shoulder Points:  This are located at the base of your fingers and the section at the bottom of your little finger.  Using the fingers or thumb of the opposite hand work across the area … first the ‘line’ and then the section at the base of the little finger. Notice any tenderness (not pain just tenderness) and breath into it to help ease away the tension from this area of the body.

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6. Spine points: This area runs along the outside of your thumb and along the bottom of your palm.  There are various ways to work this area on  yourself so see which feels the most comfortable – work with thumb of opposite hand in a ‘caterpillar walk’ style, work with fingers of the opposite hand, rub with the whole of your opposite hand.  If you think of the tip of your thumb as your head then work up towards the head will bring more calm energy and working down towards the wrist will bring a relaxing calm.

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7. Adrenal Points:  These points are found near the fleshy part at the base of your thumb and likely to be found by the tenderness there.  Best worked in a gentle circular motion with the opposite thumb while the fingers of the opposite hand ‘cradle’ the hand being worked.  Remember to breath as deep as you can while working these points 🙂

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I hope this finds you safe and secure with another tool in your kete (basket) while feeling a little more calm.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

Products and services

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My blog is still coming at you tomorrow with a yummy pizza recipe however after struggling and procrastinating about getting this on here I thought I would share 🙂 Plus I wanted to give ‘Press this’ a try!

Products and services.

Also got a new free e-book coming soon so I’ll let you know when that is coming.

 

Arohanui and sweet dreams from NZ

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