We are in challenging times with so much uncertainty facing us every day. Regardless of whether we are worried about COVID19, losing a job, potentially having to close a small business, what’s ahead after a national and local elections, if it’s safe to have schools open, when we will able to see loved ones live in retirement homes, on and on.
Not one of us is free from stress and anxiety, heightened right now. If it accumulates day after day without relief, it will begin to take a toll on our bodies — headaches, back pain, high blood pressure and even worse. We need to be aware and take positive steps to manage and lessen our stress.
The most important step we can take is to breathe, I mean intentionally breathe. Plan a few minutes when you get up in the morning to breathe in, hold, then breathe out. Start with 5 breaths, then add more over time. We can walk outside, ride a bicycle take up resistance training. I recently heard that roller skating has made a comeback because it’s great exercise and easy to keep a safe distance from others.
Join a class that promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety. Two excellent choices engaging both mind and body are yoga and Tai Chi. Since I teach Tai Chi and continue to experience its wonderful benefits of reducing stress and anxiety, improving balance and clearing my mind, I will focus on this centuries-old practice.
We learn to gently shift our weight while keeping the body totally connected. The waist and hips lead while arms and hands stay relaxed. The Tai Chi Classics say Tai Chi energy is rooted in the feet, moves up through the legs, is commanded by the waist and flowers through the hands.
The Yi (mind) moves the Qi (life force energy).With the mind focusing on moving energy and not the muscles, we are in the moment and stress decreases.