My best stress busting strategies:
Walk barefoot in the grass, on the beach, in the office, at home... Relaxing into the ground is like grounding electrical energy of a lightning bolt. It needs to go somewhere, and the Earth is large enough to receive it. Connect through the 7000 nerve endings in the feet. Drop in and breathe. In Nia, we dance barefoot. This is one of the greatest ways to begin to create stress reducing pathways for the body, mind emotions and spirit. The body learns to relax while moving, thinking, non-thinking, dancing, enjoying and being in community. It is a holistic approach to long term stress management, as well as offering some immediate instant stress reducers for the now moments.
I breathe to my belly. By placing my hands on my hara and reminding myself to breath deeply into my hands, so my belly can rise and fall like the ocean with each breath, my thought process slows to becoming aware of sensation and lets go of the fight or flight response, in most cases, stimulated by the hypothalamus. It re-directs the responders to the limbic centers, pleasure centers where the frequency of energy slows down.
I move my 13 joints to stimulate circulation and even out my whole body, so it's not just my shortness of breath and mental activity, my body gets to redirect the same energy used in stress through movement. If there is energy, it must go somewhere or turn into something. Try this and see how it feels. Move your joints from the left ankle, to left knee, to left hip, to left wrist, left elbow, left shoulder, whole spine, right shoulder, right elbow, right wrist,right hip, right knee, right ankle.
This is a common practice we use in Nia for self healing, and overall health throughout life.
I touch the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth and breathe, to calm my nervous system.
Rub palms together finger tips aimed down wards to ground energy body and reduce anxiety- stress.
Stand with feet just wider than hips and rock pelvis around--soften knees for more mobility--allows the nervous system to settle.
Essential oils--lavender is great. I also like clove and peppermint--just a small amount on temples and wrists.
Pat some cool water on wrists, backs of knees, inner elbow and nape of neck. Again, stimulation to redirect the focus.
Chikung-- inhale palms up in front of body-exhale palms down (say relax when exhale) 5-7 times. Then hands open and close from belly to sides on inhale think open and exhale think close--5-15 times. rest and receive the ease
Dance Dance Dance!!!!
These are just a few that I use in daily life, for presenting, or whenever needed. I incorporate these with my work with clients, in my Nia classes and with my children as well.
Megan MacArthur is a Trainer/ Black Belt Instructor and faculty member of the Nia Technique. Real estate broker/owner with MacArthur/Sotheby's International Realty in Hawaii, former professional contemporary dancer, a dance educator, Nia instructor for over 20 years, and mother of two, Megan incorporates her Nia practice as her lifestyle practice for a vital, flexible, agile, powerful and pleasure filled life in relationship with the world inside and out.
Megan offers trainings, workshops and classes world wide.