Easy Stress Busting Exercises
Most of you will know some effects that stress can have on your body. The increased Heart Rate, sweaty palms, and the brain fog that makes you feel like you are living in a haze. One thing I often notice in practice is patients who are stressed, tend to suffer from things like headaches, neck and upper back pain or even anxiety and depression. Not only that but they often have a decreased ability and willingness to live a life that fills them with passion or purpose.
But did you know that something as simple as posture can influence how we perceive the world and react to stress? Think about it. Have you ever been walking down the street by yourself at night, heard a loud noise and gotten a fright?! Your shoulders and head tend to round forward, and you may even instinctively protect your face and head. This is called a fight or flight posture, and it is your bodies’ way of protecting you when it detects potential danger.
This of course is a great thing when there is a potential threat. But here is the problem. Most of us spend copious amounts of time looking down at our phones or laptops and slumped forward in the car. And what happens to your body is after hours and hours of sitting in this poor posture pattern, your body actually goes into the fight and flight pattern. You are literally tricking your brain into believing you are in danger and activating that fight and flight stress response which inevitably makes you stress even more!
But don’t fear. Below I have created a little video for you. In this quick video I will show you some very simple exercises to improve your posture, bring you out of that fight and flight pattern, and in turn allow you to stress less!
1. Broom Stick Pass Overs
With your feet hip distance apart, grab hold of a broom stick or similar with your hands nice and wide. Slowly lift up over head and backward ensuring you are not arching through your lower back. Once you have reached all the way towards your bum, slowly bring the broom stick back over head and then back to neutral. Repeat 15 times, 2x daily
Note: If this is a challenge for you, lift the broom stick just above head without going over and return back to neutral.
2. Bruggers Relief position
With feet hip distance apart and palms by your side facing out, squeeze your shoulder blades together while ensuring they stay relaxed down and look up and back. Breathe deeply and calmly into your tummy. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, 2x Daily
3. Foam roller Thoracic expansion
On your back with knees bent, place a foam roller lengthways between the top of your shoulder blades. Bring hands up to rest under your head and allow your head to relax backward within comfort limits. Lift hips up to the sky, push through your feet and SLOWLY roll from the top of your shoulders to the bottom of your rib cage (not lower). Roll back to starting position and repeat 15 times, 2x daily
4. Shoulder and heart opener
On your back, support yourself with your hands behind you, fingers facing away from your body. Bend your knees and lift your hips up while extending your head back and gently lifting your chest up until you look flat like a table. Hold this position for 30 seconds whilst breathing calmly and deeply. Rest for 10 seconds and repeat again for 30 seconds 2x daily.
Note: This can be a very intense stretch. It may even make you feel a little emotional (I know it does for me) as it also designed to open your heart Chakra. Breathe through it and don’t push yourself past comfort levels.