Self-Care Stride

Stress & Breath

It is well known that stress impacts your wellbeing and how you live. Influencing health, happiness and ageing: Limiting your potential to live your best life

So we thought our striders would like to know how stress effects your state of being, to understand and to then learn how to manage the effects of stress.

Ideally we should be in a state of no stress, of relaxation, but present day living does not allow us headspace to choose!

Generally, there are two types of stress: good and bad. It should be pretty obvious where you want to be on that scale!

Good stress involves feelings that are “strong, creative, engaged and switched on, proactive and calm” These allow:

  • the ability to digest food and breathe well for good energy
  • improving your sex drive: you are on it!
  • reproducing body cells – reducing cancer risk
  • the ability to fight disease – combating flu, colds and sickness
  • feeling energised for activity, regulating your ‘fight or flight’ hormones
  • headspace to help yourself and others
  • boosting good problem-solving skills, creativity and performance

 

Bad stress is, neuroscience describes, “the equivalent of pouring sand in the body and mind”, reactive, frazzled and un-productive. These feelings cause:

  • ‘panic breathing’ – shallow and debilitating breath, causing low energy
  • flight or fight hormones not to be used for their purpose, blocking the bloodstreams and causing poor digestion
  • blood pumped to muscles to run (but not reacted to) causing agitation, a lack of focus and feelings of being out of control
  • lethargy – no energy or time for sex, exercise or anyone
  • shutdown of immune systems and the body’s ability to repair itself – leaving visually poor skin, hair and nails
  • limited headspace to plan for healthy eating or better performance at work and home

Try this easy, “do anywhere” breathing exercise to detach and re-calibrate, for as long as you need:

Breath – the life force for staying focused, encouraging energy for performance

Inhale breath to your feet

Allow (without force) your chest and stomach to expand and contract with each breath

Lengthen the body from heel to crown of head,

Release the neck away from your ears, soften your shoulders

Soften the mind, un-knit brow and breathe

Repeat when you are stressed and more importantly when you are not. Condition and strengthen the mind to stay focused on your values and beliefs.

Notice the changes in the body and mind rhythms. Mentally mark and value these changes. Adapt and evolve to your enjoyments.

Walking to reduce stress, and increase creativity?

If you want to reduce stress, feel more creative and engaged with the world, you need to free your mind and escape. By making time in your day for a walk – including getting off the bus or parking the car earlier – you create a vital opportunity to escape from and silence the stressful noises in your head. Reinforcing the importance to allow time to re-balance.

It’s important to note that while good stress promotes productivity, it doesn’t always promote effectiveness. Creating a forward-looking state of mind through walking is an effective stress-buster, and a simple route to feeling happy, interested and purposeful and therefore creativity and effectiveness.

In addition to stress, ageing has a huge effect on your wellbeing. Challenging your present knowledge, the effects of ageing is hugely related to how you looking after yourself and not (as you may believe) entirely linked with the passing of years. See more on this in our next blog

In the meantime enjoy your striding, keep building your wellbeing knowledge. Share your thoughts and outcomes and if you have not enjoyed a Simply Stride session so far, we would love to see you at soon.

To book: call Lisa Gosling on  or email lisa@simplystride.co.uk

Individual, weekly groups, workplace and medical stride all available!

K x

Feel better than ever