Not to rip on society or anything, but we are encouraged to prioritize outward appearance (and Instagram it) over holistic health. However, this “be hot or else” approach can be counterproductive to reaching our fitness goals. Sometimes we need to opt for the restorative route and restore our energy, rather than exert it. Luckily, holistic health experts have lists of exercises to do to reduce stress.
Hot Mess Stress Express
There are many flavors of stress: financial, work, environmental. relationship, housing, social, health, family, legal, bullies, and finding a parking spot. Although exercise can be an amazing form of relief, putting your body under physical stress when you already feel exhausted can cause your body to hold onto the weight you want to lose. Stress causes our neuroendocrines systems to secrete cortisol which ups our insulin-levels and our tendency to store fat.
Some questions to ask yourself before heading to the gym are:
If you are concerned that your exhaustion is becoming your perpetual state of existence, consider researching adrenal fatigue. You can schedule a test with your healthcare provider, or for a solid start, you can take this extensive questionnaire.
- Does just the thought of working out make me exhausted?
- Do I look well-rested and healthy?
- Is my digestion normal?
- Am I able to sleep at night?
- Is my memory worse than a squirrel’s?
Start By Breathing
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, you might also feel short on time. A simple way to restore yourself without spending too much time or money is to dedicate a few minutes to breathing - daily. Here we have Paul Chek with love, chi, and years of wellness experience to show you how to begin. https://chekinstitute.com/blog/breathing-and-movement-integration/ <iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_jZ6M2sQMrA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Exercises to Do to Reduce Stress
After you’ve dabbled with a new way of breathing, try these other remedies for stress-relief.
Tai Chi is the Chinese practice of building internal energy through mindful, flowing movements with deep breathing. Some of the benefits of tai chi include
mood elevation, increased aerobic capacity, lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and an increased ability to sleep at night. Another benefit is the sense of accomplishment and edge you may feel when you say, "I've been restoring my internal energy through Tai Chi, you know, as the ancient ones once did."
More resources: Mayo Clinic
, Medical News Today
, Fundamental Moves by Jake Mace
Qi gong/Chi gung
Qigong is the Chinese practice of holding poses and syncing your breath to your movement to build internal energy and mind-body connection. Please just continue procrastinating whatever you should be doing and read this. The benefits are endless. For example, “The clearing process in chi gung can be used on strongly repressed, as well as on spontaneously over-expressed emotions. Many of the movements of chi gung can be reﬁned to speciﬁcally address your problem area, be it depression, grief, frustration, irritability, or any combination thereof. The ability to release stress directly through control of the central nervous system is a method par excellence for dealing with burnout.”
Yin yoga is the practice of holding passive postures and it's one of the exercises to do to reduces stress. The postures target the body’s connective tissue and fascia to regulate the flow of energy. It specifically soothes your knees, pelvis, sacrum, and spine. Yin yoga helps you meditate more comfortably because those are the parts of our bodies that ache when we are in a seated position on the floor. It’s fun to try at home. This video by Bernie Clark introduces the principles and juicy, magical details of Yin.
Let’s start a revolution and buck the whole stressed-out-as-a-way-of-life thing. Love you!