Feeling Stressed? Try This.

By Kandiss Fernando, Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner

People often say, “I feel stressed” or I am “so stressed out”, but stress isn’t an emotion. It is a normal physiological reaction in the body that can make you feel angry, frustrated, worried, anxious, excited, sad and much more. Stress in itself is not necessarily good or bad, however, how we choose to manage it can either help improve or diminish our sense of well being.

One key to managing effects of stress in the body is being aware of how you feel when you’re under stress. When my clients tell me they are feeling stressed, I encourage them to do a self check-in by asking themselves what they are feeling in the moment. Because our bodies communicate with us through emotions and sensations, it is important to pause and acknowledge any emotions you may be feeling in relation to your stress.

Here is one exercise you can practice:

– Pause what you are doing, perhaps closing your eyes if your environment allows.

– Take a deep breath; inhale and exhale slowly

– Try to focus in on any sensations that arise. Is your heart racing? Is your temperature rising? Is there a feeling of heaviness in your chest? is tension present in areas of your body such as your neck, face, neck, shoulders, lower back or abdomen?

– Once you’ve identified the sensations you are feeling, ask yourself what you need in this situation. It could be as easy as getting to bed earlier, being more physically active and doing activities with friends and family that bring us joy. Perhaps having a difficult conversation that you have been putting off or simply speaking to someone who you know will listen without judgement.
While we will all feel the effects of stress at various points in our lives, it’s important to spend time reflecting on the cause, sensations and potential solutions. Many of us override our intuition or inner voice with logic, But by making time to pause and reflect on the stress you experience, you may realize that the solution is within your reach.

Acupuncture is also a great way of regulating the effects of stress on the mind and body. For more information book a complimentary 15 minute consultation with Kandiss at the clinic.

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