We all know that stress can be hard on the body. From minor insomnia to debilitating conditions such as heart disease, stress can take its toll both emotionally and physically. One way to think of stress is simply as a “change in environment.” That may mean changing your external circumstances (a change in weather, geographic location, or pollution levels), your internal environment (a change in your diet, sleeping pattern, etc), or even a change in your social environment (losing a close friend, changing jobs, or a change in work load.
I recently spoke with Dr. Jason Worrall, an esteemed chirportactor practicing in Beverly Hills, who explained to me that the central nervous system responds to stress by immobilizing the spine, in other words, making it more rigid.
Obviously, a great antidote to this is to maintain fluidity in your spine through movement—- whether by dancing, practicing yoga, playing a sport, or just taking the time to gently stretch your body. To enhance the benefits even more, you can also add in the ancient practice of breathwork, which the yogis call “pranayama.” One of the simplest versions of this is to just pay attention to your breath and consciously allow yourself to inhale and exhale fully.
This can help push the “re-set” button for your mind and body, reduce stress levels and even re-imprint your central nervous system, allowing for your baseline to be a more relaxed state. How does it feel? What do you do to help yourself through stressful times? What do you do to keep yourself from getting stressed in the first place?