December 30, 2011

Relaxation During the Holiday Season…???

Ideally, Christmas and the winter holidays could be a time to focus attention on our deepest emotions, togetherness and spiritual feelings. Unfortunately, for many this time of year is full of stress.

For many with hectic, stressful lives, relaxation means zoning out in front of the TV at the end of the day or snatching some extra sleep on the weekend. Unfortunately, this does little to help reduce the damaging effects of stress on the mind and body.

To effectively combat stress, we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. You can do this by practicing relaxation techniques including yoga, deep breathing, visualization, and meditation, or by performing rhythmic exercise, such as running, cycling, or mindful walking. Finding ways to fit these activities into your life can help reduce everyday stress and boost your energy and mood. They’ll also help you to stay calm in the face of life’s unexpected events… and the holiday season!

If you are beginning a new practice or coming back to one remember it doesn’t have to be fancy, you don’t have to have all the new gear, just START! Start with something simple and a realistic, manageable amount of time. You want to be successful and create a solid foundation to build on, so set yourself up for success!
For some activities, weekly classes can be the ideal way to keep practice regular.

WHEN stress suddenly arises, taking some slow deep breaths will activate the body’s natural relaxation response and will you help navigate through. Then asap engage in a physical activity such as a brisk walk or run or hit the mat and do some yoga. Chances are you will feel much better after this and will prove how you can manage stress in a healthy way!