I have found that in times of stress, one of the effective and important things, which can actually help us through the hard times, is a good physical exertion to raise the feel good hormones such as Endorphines and Adrenaline, and get rid of stress hormones. But our natural reaction seems to be to take out he things out of our day, which feels superfluou and time consuming. Many times that is our time we spend on health. It is a mix between sacrificing that time, thus ourselves to the other more “important” cause at hand, despite that the stressor might be something we don’t have any control over anyway.
Endless studies have confirmed the fact that the right amount of exercise relieves stress, boosts the immune system, and I would like to add a few important factors which are less high lighted but great reasons to always find that time every day to just Move. The actual time you take for yourself can have a meditative effect. Focusing on just your physical exertion and breath, gives you space and time to disconnect from your worries for that moment. Its a Golden Moment given to yourself by yourself. Also in a time of feeling out of control, the planned workout can give you a sense of ability to influence your environment, and thus help you take a beak from the helpless feeling. My favorite factor which I use it for more often than not is the cathartic outlet factor. I like to let the steam out so to speak. The time we give ourselves to take care of our bodies, is actually and act of Self Love and is important from a coping skill building perspective.
One big part of that specific stress workout can be the way that you breathe. Yoga teaches us that nose breathing is proven to actually calm down the nervous system, and combined with a workout, you will experience several benefits, just by moving and breathing!!
Try this 30 minute stress workout I recommend, where all elements are involved: high and low heart rate intervals, stability and mobility exercises with a focus on Nose!
In 5 minute intervals, mix the following.
1.Plie squat arms reaching over head, move to standing gazing upwards this time, and bringing arms down along side the body.
2.Dance, jumps, skip, hop, jumps rope, step up and down on a pavement or do Jumping Jacks.
3. Do a sequence of Sunsalute, Upwards Facing Dog/Downwards Facing Dog slowly
4. Dance, Jumps, Run, Hop, Skip etc
5. Quick sequence of abwork: Standing Twists, On the Ball if available, or laying on the floor.
6. Laying down stretches on the floor or if you have a Foam Roller available, use the last 5 minutes to roll out legs and back muscles.