Stress and the Body
Learning to listen to your body is an important life skill. Your body will always tell you how you’re doing. When we experience stressful situations – whether transient or longer lasting – the tension manifests itself physically in various ways.
Common bodily areas of tension include the jaw, brow, neck, shoulders, and hips. Your shoulders might hike up, causing tightness in the muscles along the back and side of your neck. Stress puts these muscles in a constant state of slight contraction. Start noticing when these areas are affected and you can kick start the process of releasing stress.
How can we release stress? Yoga and meditation help, as does any form of stretching and light exercise. Take a walk outside to clear your head if your thoughts start to overwhelm you. Talk to a friend while you’re doing it to take your mind off things or bounce things off a sounding board! Listen to some music or create something for fun. Or simply spend some time with a pet or a loved one.
There are also herbal supplements that help take the edge off. Ashwagandha, also called Indian ginseng, is a small shrub in the Solanaceae or nightshade family that has been used as a medicinal herb for its calming influence in Ayurveda. And of course there is therapy and medication for more acute and chronic situations. Be kind to your body! Talk to your Atrium provider about how we can be your ally in your self care journey.