Yesterday I was waiting to see the doctor and picked up an outdated magazine to kill some time as my anxiety level is always high while waiting. One I don’t like going to appointments and too I really hate waiting.
So as I was flipping through and people watching I came across an article that discusses ways to help yourself when stressed (was disappointment to find ‘eating’ was not recommended, as a nutritionist coach I’m kidding, as me though sometimes you just need some ice cream). What I found and through other sites was the key word ‘moving’. Moving through doing something, anything to keep yourself occupied and in the moment. Such as: exercising, dancing, ETF technique, practising mindfulness, coloring, walking, baking, knitting, etc. Things that occupy the body but don’t tax the mind.
I have recently started a group were they are doing a 14 day challenge where you set an intention and than just dance. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been doing it every day, however when I came home yesterday and was randomly moving about my place with stress from the day I finally decided to turn off the tv, put on some music, close my eyes and just dance. Hard to get into at first, since I was still replaying the events of the day in my head and feeling silly about dancing. However, once I surrendered and just started moving I did find that it really helped. So there maybe something to this theory.
I have learned that I am defiantly a flight person when filled with anxiety. I become a little kid stomping my feet saying I don’t want to. I am the person in the waiting room asking the nurse when it will be my turn so I can leave. Yep, when filled with anxiety I want to get out of dodge and go to my happy place.
Lately though I have been exploring the ‘move your body’ technique so I can help my clients. I’ll bake, do a word search, go for a walk, doddle, clean, etc. Things that keep my body busy but don’t tax the mind. Being mindful and in the moment really helps wen you are stressed. It stops the record in your mind and gives your something to do, whether big or small, moving, breathing and doing when stressed has a calming effect on the body, mid and heightened stress level. While your moving, either clear your mind (a challenging task, especially if you are still rehashing the argument of the day) or be mindful of what you are doing, literally sing along to the song, think or say out loud the steps you are doing while baking, cleaning, out for a walk, etc.
You’ll find that by distracting yourself, stopping the record in your head that is thinking about all of the things that you are stressing or worrying about, even for a moment really does help with stress, mood, your muscles relax and you breathe.
When you find yourself in a stressful situation, or had a stressful day and your fight or flight response is skyrocketing, try distracting by moving and being mindful. This doesn’t change the stressful situation but it will help to calm the body and mind and give you some much need release from the situation.
What type of person are you? Fight or flight? What do you find helps when stressed out?