Do you feel tightness in your neck or shoulders when you are stressed out?

I understand, because there are those moments where it all seems to pile up on us and we feel it in our bodies.

Your stress style could be one in which you register stress mainly in your body.  It may help you to do a vigorous workout, ride your bicycle, get a massage or soak in a hot tub or sit in a hot sauna.*.   I always suggest meditation and breathing exercises to help you relax, reboot and recharge from a stressful day.

How do you do that? There are several ways to meditate.

One way that I found super helpful was to practice my breathing and meditating all in one.

You are probably thinking that your mind wanders when you meditate and I have to be honest, it happens to us all.

Our minds naturally wander.  You may find yourself daydreaming, writing out your shopping list, remembering to pay a bill, etc.

When your mind wanders from your breath, just bring your awareness right back to your breath.

The practice is not only to use your breath to relax but to keep bringing your mind back to the present moment.  If you want to learn more about this technique, I highly recommend the book, Be present in the moment by Tessa Watt.

The other technique that I find helpful to figure out where the tension is and how to relieve it in the body is the body scan method.

For this practice you will need to lay down.

This exercise will take you approximately 25 to 45 minutes.

Bring awareness to each part of your body.

You want to start at your toes and work your way up to the crown of your head.

You can find more videos on this method on YouTube and there are several books out here that go deeper into it.

I want to leave you with this, one of the most common first reactions when I suggest meditation is again that it’s hard to focus or that your mind is just too busy.   Remember that mindfulness is not about having a mind that is empty or blank. Your mind will have many thoughts, and you are not trying to get rid of your thoughts.  Your goal is to notice your thoughts, letting go of those thoughts that don’t serve you, and then bringing your mind back to focus. Bringing it back to you.  Each time your mind wanders, it’s an opportunity for you to practice bringing it back.

Please take time daily to do something for yourself, something to help you relieve your stress and something that makes you feel better.

Please schedule your yearly physicals and see a doctor if you need to. It won’t hurt to schedule those appointments.

Stay safe out there.

*Be in the present moment by Tessa Watt.

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