Dear Exercise Friends,
It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone! It always takes me a couple of weeks to get back into the swing of things. I begin by starting with that proverbial New Year’s resolution. This year I’m working on paying special attention to the role stress plays in my life. New research shows how much our physical well-being is impacted by our mental and emotional state. Armed with this knowledge, I’m taking a more active role in my health starting with the daily practice of relaxation and letting go of stress. I hope you’ll join me!
Releasing stressful thoughts is only the beginning. Once you are rid of real, or imagined, worrisome scenarios it’s important to replace them with something more productive. I know you have had the experience of going to a movie. Depending on what you’ve just witnessed on the screen (happiness or horror) you’ll notice that both your body and mind reflect that same emotion. For example, the movie “Psycho” makes your body tense, fists clenched, eyes wide open and frightened or squeezed tight trying not to watch; and facial muscle grimacing. All this anxiety is accompanied by shallow breathing. Walking out of the movie you find yourself jumpy and tense.Contrast that with attending a movie like “Cheaper by the Dozen” where the antics involved with raising a big family not only make you smile but produce big belly laughs. You leave the theater with a smile on your face, endorphins pulsing through your body, and feeling light-hearted.
You can apply the same experience of watching different types of movies to induce your body and mind to relax. Try the easy and quick relaxation exercise below. Put it into practice on a regular basis and melt away stress so you can experience more emotional balance and inner peace in 2016!
Join me this year in reducing the amount of stress and tension in your life. The daily practice below will help you be more in charge of the types of feelings and thoughts circulating through your body and mind.
Exercise For Releasing Stress
Practice this simple technique daily to release stress!
Sit back in a comfortable chair, spine straight but muscles relaxed. Allow the shoulders to drop and feel the support of the chair. As your eyes close allow the eyelids to soften. Smooth out the lines on the forehead and smile! Take a deep breath. Imagine your movie is about to begin.
Picture yourself in a setting that you find peaceful, relaxing, and refreshing; or remember sharing the day with someone who makes you laugh; or envision a puppy playfully splashing in the surf. Whatever scenario puts you in a happy frame of mind will work. You decide on the theme. Next, take several deep breaths and let your personally-tailored movie play out until you feel bathed in a calm warmth. Open your eyes when you feel ready to make the world a better place with your smile!
Your movie doesn’t have to be long or take up a lot of time. However, you do need to schedule it on your calendar and make it a part of your day. Try doing the exercise first thing in the morning and again before sleep. Notice how your emotional, mental, and physical well-being are positively impacted as you sustain your commitment to this daily practice. Let’s keep this healthy habit going all year long and create peaceful memories for 2016!
Thank you for taking the time to read our NewsFlash!
Wishing you all the very best always,
Mary Ann Wilson, RN