Feel Your Breath and Body and Stay Healthy
We are experiencing a global pandemic, dramatic changes to how we conduct our daily lives, economic uncertainty, and political and social turmoil, as well as an array of natural disasters. Then there are personal traumas that people are also dealing with, such as the loss of a loved one, declining health, unemployment, divorce, violent crimes, or tragic accidents. For many of us, this is a time of unprecedented struggle and upheaval.
Have you ever noticed how your body feels when you’re under stress? Your muscles become tense, especially the one in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches. You may feel a tightness in your chest, a pounding pulse, or muscle cramps. You may also experience problems such as insomnia, heartburn, stomachache, diarrhea, or frequent urination. The worry and discomfort of all these physical symptoms can in turn lead to even more stress, creating a vicious cycle.
How do you counter the effects of stress? One effective measure is exercise, which is a natural and effective antidepressant and stress reliever. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. In fact, anything that gets you moving can help. Try to notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the wind on your skin. By adding this mindfulness element—really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise—you’ll not only improve your physical condition faster, but you may also be able to interrupt the flow of constant worries running through your head.
Exercise doesn't mean going to the gym and lifting weights. You can move in and around your house, take a vigorous walk for half an hour, dance, do yoga, or get creative and active with your family. Exercise will benefit you with a sharper memory, high self-esteem, better sleep and more energy.
So let’s get ourselves moving and beat the blues out of our system.
-By Mrs. Pranita Patel