There’s no doubt that life can be quite stressful from time to time, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to stay like this! Stress is manageable with the right attitude and tools – including one of the simplest forms of self-care you often forget about: stretching and De-Stress.
Everyone thinks about stretching primarily to improve flexibility, but did you know that regular stretches can also help reduce stress levels? This article will show how and why easy stretches are great for relieving tension caused by everyday stressors so that you can put your best foot forward every day. Let’s get started!
Why It’s Important To De-Stress
De-stressing is an essential part of any and every individual’s life as it helps to promote mental and physical health. Without some sort of stress management outlet, people can easily be overwhelmed with everyday life’s challenges. Taking time to de-stress can help ease worry, relieve anxiety, and reduce tension, allowing a person to better cope with the stressful challenges they face while helping to reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation and finding healthier ways to handle emotions.
De-Stress With These Stretches
Seated Spinal Twist
Doing the Seated Spinal Twist is an effective way to help increase mobility and flexibility in your spine, core muscles, and hip joints. To do this move correctly, start sitting with both feet flat on the floor as close to your hips as possible. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle while gently pressing themselves outward.
Grab your nearest knee firmly with both hands and slowly rotate it away from your chest while supporting any additional movement with the opposite hand pushing against your thigh. If you don’t feel muscle tension, gently tilt further away from your body until you feel a nice stretch across your ribs. Hold for 10-15 seconds before repeating on the other side (using alternate hands). Doing this move regularly will help free up energy blockages that can cause pain or discomfort in different areas of your body.
The Child’s Pose is a yoga asana that helps to relax your entire body and calm your mind. To perform this, start by kneeling on the floor and separate your feet hip-width apart while keeping your toes touching. Next, until the buttocks touches the heels of your feet, move slowly onto your knees and bring them together. Afterward, lower your torso between your thighs in such a way that your stomach is resting upon the tops of your thighs, and it needs to be parallel with the ground.
Expand and elongate every muscle in both front-facing legs until you are positioned comfortably with your palms lying face down on each side of you. Let go of any tension in this pose and rest, allowing yourself to sink with great care into the energy released from the pose. To end, come up slowly when you are ready until you once again sit upright on both knees, maintaining proper posture.
Downward Facing Dog
Doing the Downward Facing Dog is one of the most popular yoga postures. This invigorating stretch works for every muscle group and helps promote relaxation while also building strength. To do the Downward Facing Dog, start on your hands and knees with your spine in a neutral position. Lift your knees off the ground, pushing back as you exhale until you’re in an inverted ‘V’ pose.
Spread your fingers wide and press down through your palms for stability. Align your head between your two arms with your gaze slightly forward or downwards towards the navel. Take a few deep breaths, engaging the muscles of your glutes, legs, core, and arms as you hold the pose for 45-90 seconds before returning to starting position. With practice, this posture can help improve posture, ease stress, freshen energy levels, and even aid digestion!
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
Doing a standing hip flexor stretch is an excellent way to release tension in your hips and buttocks. To do it, start by standing with the feet shoulder-width apart and the arms at your side. Keeping one leg stationary, step forward with the other leg and bend the knee until a stretch is felt in the hip area of that leg.
Make sure you keep your shoulders, chest, and back straight while pushing the pelvis forward. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds while breathing deeply to maximize relaxation throughout the hips, then switch legs and repeat. This simple stretch routine should go a long way in helping to reduce fatigue and improve flexibility in this crucial muscle group.
The Cat-Cow Stretch is an easy and effective way to experience the benefits of yoga. This move deeply stretches the spine, creating space between vertebrae and engaging both core and back muscles. To begin, start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees below your hips.
The Cat-Cow has many benefits, including improved posture, increased flexibility throughout the back, engaging the abdominal muscles, and overall stress relief! As you inhale, lift your chest towards the ceiling, arching your back in the shape of a cat; then, as you exhale, curl your tailbone down towards your mat, making a ‘C’ shape with your spine – similar to cow pose. This can be repeated for several rounds before transitioning into the downward-facing dog to balance it all out.
Seated Forward Bend
The Seated Forward Bend is an essential yoga pose that allows practitioners to achieve greater balance and flexibility. To begin the stretch, sit up straight with both legs extended in front of you. Slowly inhale and exhale as you bend your torso forward from the hips. Slowly extend your arms as far down your legs as possible, allowing your head to drop towards the floor. If you can reach further, try to rest your forehead on the ground lightly.
Remain in this position until you feel the pull of your muscles relaxing and releasing tightness in your spine. As you do so, focus on breathing steadily and rhythmically. After some time, use a long inhale to bring yourself back into an upright seated position and release the tension in your chest and abdomen before standing up slowly. It can be beneficial to do this stretch multiple times throughout each session for maximum effect – feeling stronger and more balanced with every breath!
Rotational Neck Stretch
To begin the Rotational Neck Stretch, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, and keep your arms at your sides. Then, gently rotate your head to the right; hold it there for a few seconds before moving it back towards the left side and holding it for a short time.
This simple stretching exercise effectively reduces cervical muscle stiffness while improving blood circulation and helping you achieve greater overall relaxation. You can do this stretch four times in both directions, and be sure to move slowly so as not to strain your neck muscles. While performing this stretch, make sure that you keep your shoulders relaxed and don’t squint, as this will only increase tension in the neck area.
Chest Opener Stretch
The chest opener stretch is an excellent exercise to help you feel relaxed and have more range of movement throughout your body. It can be done quickly and easily whenever you feel tightness in your chest, shoulders, and neck. To start, stand with feet hip-width apart, arms behind you, gripping opposite elbows.
Engage your core and press your palms back as far as possible while keeping the shoulders and head relaxed. You should be feeling a nice stretch along the chest wall. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing slowly through the neck, upper back, then arms. Incorporate this stretch into your routine a few times daily for maximum benefit!
Extended Triangle Pose
The Extended Triangle Pose is an excellent exercise for intermediate-level yoga practitioners. It requires good balance and some degree of flexibility, so it’s essential to warm up with a few stretching exercises before attempting it. To do the pose, begin standing upright with feet approximately three feet apart. Extend your arms to either side at shoulder level and turn your left foot to the side at a 45-degree angle while keeping the other one straight ahead.
Bend your left knee and lower your torso, so it’s parallel to the ground. Make sure your chest is open and facing the left side of the room while you reach down with your right hand to rest fingertips on either the ankle or shin of the bent knee – whichever is most comfortable for you. Remain in this position for several breaths before repeating on the opposite side. This pose can help achieve greater physical strength and inner peace with practice and dedication.
De-Stress With These Stretches Today!
With these stretches, you’ll be able to de-stress like never before. Perform them regularly for maximum benefit! Whether at home or work, doing them a few times a day can help reduce stress and make you feel stronger and more relaxed.