Stress has become part of our daily lifestyle. Excess stress accumulates over time creating consequences in the body and in our emotional state of being. It’s important to release and manage your stress, and learn how you can balance your life to have more stress-free days.
First let’s take a look at what stress does in the body. Many body systems can be negatively affected by excess stress, including the digestive system and metabolic function, the cardiovascular system, the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system, the reproductive and endocrine system, and immune system. Excess stress can also create an imbalance in your emotional and mental states and can impact your relationships personally and professionally. Stress wears on the body and brain, contributing to premature aging and thousands of ailments, although its influence can be easily overlooked.
We have a survival mechanism in the body called the human stress response. This mechanism helps us to cope with stress in the moment of a crisis. This survival response is activated by danger such as a devastating emotional loss, a war, a natural disaster or predator. When the mind perceives a threat, the sympathetic nervous systems floods the body with stress hormones, especially cortisol, and activates a “fight or flight” response. As the hormones travel throughout the body, cortisol is circulated everywhere in the body.
Cortisol makes more energy available to the brain and large muscle groups in an effort to accelerate speed and response times, however can suppress the immune system, slow down digestion, decrease urine production and inhibit many body functions. The sympathetic nervous system produces these extra stress hormones to help us with the crisis at hand. Using these stress hormones and activating these responses in the body must be followed by a period of rest and recovery.
Our modern lifestyle is filled with multiple stressors. Have you experienced a hard day at home with children, challenging interpersonal relationships, bills that need to be paid, a difficult boss, deadlines at work, loss of sleep and many other stressors? You are not alone. Our stress hormones are constantly activated, and remain activated long after a stressful event is over since stress hormones can’t be turned off. Chronic stress remains in the tissues of the body almost continuously, which can make us hyper sensitive and more likely to trigger the fight or flight response again, even when a minor stressor is presented in life. Our continual stress potentially further sensitizes the sympathetic nervous system creating a vicious cycle.
Chronic stress puts our bodies in a very difficult situation. When our systems are on high alert we are more susceptible to stress. We have very little chance to recover, reset and regain balance in between. Over time we are weakening our body systems. What is the solution?
Ayurvedic medicine uses a foundational principle that opposites balance, and therefore directs an appropriate treatment of opposites. Set yourself up for a stress-free day by using the 3-minute Acu-touch exercise to balance and restore, and listen to the audio recording of Releasing Stress and Revitalizing upon falling to sleep. You may want to supplement your diet with Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb to improve stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia and more!
- Gently place your right fingertips at the top of your head. The right hands serves as your anchor at the violet crown chakra, balancing the pineal gland. Keep your right hand on the crown of your head.
- Place your left fingertips on the space between your eyes, the third eye. This chakra supports the pituitary gland. Hold on this point for 10- 15 seconds and breathe. (Right hand continues to anchor at the top of the head.)
- Next place the left fingers on the V of the throat, the throat chakra. As you hold the throat and breathe, for 10- 15 seconds you are supporting the thyroid gland.
- Continue the exercise by moving your left hand to the center of the chest, your heart chakra. Breathe into the heart center and hold the point 10-15 seconds to support your thymus gland.
- Move your left hand to your solar plexus point just below thesternum . Hold for 10-15 seconds supporting your pancreas.
- Gently place your left fingers on the navel point, supporting your reproductive center. Breathe and hold for 10-15 seconds.
- Still anchoring your right hand on your crown, place your left fingers onto the public bone opening the root chakra to support your adrenal glands. Hold for 10-15 seconds. In steps 1 -7, you have held touch points on each chakra center to balance the endocrine system and guide energy to circulate down the front of the body.
- Your left hand will now remain on the root center becoming the anchor. Remove your right hand from your crown and place it on your coccyx (tailbone) in back of the body. Breathe and hold for 10-15 seconds. Holding these points allows energy to travel up the spine. Energy can now flow freely down the front of the body and up the back of the spine to the top of the head.
This exercise can be used during the day to center and focus or at night to relax. Used any time of day or night, you are enhancing your endocrine system to rejuvenate and balance. Enjoy this 3-minute exercise for your healing and renewal!
Listen to the meditation upon falling asleep or during the day to release tension and renew your energies! Using the meditation consistently over a 30-day period will support you anchoring positive, new patterns in your brain and body to release stress and anxiety. For more information, click here.
To learn more about the Ayruvedic herb, Ashwagandha, click here.
Here are some simple methods you can use to apply the principle of opposites into your daily lifestyle, such as:
- If you know you are going to have a hectic day, do sure you are building in some recovery time afterward to nurture yourself.
- Walk on the earth and be in nature for a little bit everyday. Place your bare feet on the earth and let the earth neutralize your stress and revitalize.
- Remember to breathe and take pauses throughout your day.
- Allow yourself 1-2 hours at the computer, then take a break before returning.
- Yoga and exercise!
- Meditation to ease your mind.
- Eat 3 healthy meals a day. Try to eat the same time everyday.
- Unwind in the evening, and release mental activities. Play soft music and relax as you are preparing for bed.
- Plan on getting to bed by 11:00pm for your body systems to repair and rejuvenate while you are sleeping. Most repair of our organ systems happens between 11:00pm-1:00am.
- Enjoy happy relationships for your family and friends!
Please share your methods on releasing stress and keeping your daily balance!