Stress is at an all-time high in our world today, do this instead.
Because of the coronavirus, millions of people are anxious about their health and well-being. Our lives have changed in so many ways, from how we shop for groceries to how we greet our loved ones and close friends. And there’s no telling when life will feel “normal” again.
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” Lily Tomlin
Underneath the impacts of COVID-19, there is still an undercurrent of anxiety tied to how we live in modern society. We rely on technology to stay connected, especially right now, which has both positive and negative impacts on our emotional well-being.
On the one hand, we can easily keep in touch with people from all over the world. On the other hand, we feel tremendous pressure to “keep up with the Joneses.” Social media tricks us into thinking other people are always happy and constantly enjoying wild adventures.
When we get through this crazy time (which we will!!!), we will likely return to the level of overall busyness that drained so many of us before. And those of you who work on the frontlines have been experiencing tremendous hardship for months (we thank YOU).
The combination of the pandemic and our overly full, tech-driven lives makes it difficult to invest in our holistic health. We often forget to take the time to nourish our physical, mental, and spiritual health because we prioritize other activities regularly. As a result, we are so incredibly stressed.
“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” Wayne Dyer
As a Personal Energy and Potential coach, I teach others how to address issues, such as stress, in positive ways. This month, I am focusing on how moving meditations, like Qigong, can be valuable at times like this.
Qigong offers numerous health benefits, from enabling us to manage our qi, our essence of life better, to promoting balance and stability. What I wanted to share more about here is how Qigong helps us manage stress and find our center.
As I’ve written about before, Qigong engages our being on multiple levels. We move in a controlled, graceful, and deliberate manner while breathing deeply and focusing our intention on rebalancing yin and yang forces within the body.
When we are completely immersed in the experience of Qigong, we are at one with ourselves and with nature. We recenter our minds and hearts, taking them back from whatever stresses were keeping them captive before. In Qigong, we leave behind the burdens of the world, not to escape, but to collect ourselves, regain strength and BE here!
“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” Eckhart Tolle
As with other types of meditation, Qigong helps us keep anxiety at bay by reminding us of the power we have over our health. When the world kicks us around and makes us feel weak, we can return to Qigong, trusting in the ancient practice to help us keep things in perspective.
One of the wonderful aspects of Qigong is that there are many different forms of practice depending on the specific health goals of the individual. And people can incorporate specific exercises into these Qigong forms to focus on certain features in the body.
Some movements and postures are better suited for reducing stress than others. Neck circles, shaking exercises, and deep breathing are all examples of qigong motions that transfer qi throughout the body as needed to minimize the harmful effects of stress.
For those of you who practice Qigong regularly, I highly recommend doing research to see what kinds of exercises you can incorporate into your routine to minimize stress. There are many options out there for people of all skill levels. As you grow, you can add new movements and increase the difficulty of your postures.
If you haven’t yet discovered the beauty and power of Qigong, here are three things to help relieve stress that doesn’t require a prescription.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James
Be aware and acknowledge your stress
It’s important to reflect on how you deal with stress today.
Do you work more?
Do you eat more?
Do you exercise?
Do you retreat from others and isolate yourself?
Think about your stress response and how it is or isn’t healthy for you. If you feel that you have room to grow in this area, Qigong could be the answer.
“Breath is the power behind all things…. I breathe in and know that good things will happen.” Täo Andrée Porchon
Consider moving meditation with qigong
Jumping right into meditative practices can be hard for people who aren’t experienced in this area. People who are always available to others can feel distracted or anxious if asked to separate from their devices even for a short period.
If you aren’t experienced with any form of meditation, you have to realize that it is a skill that takes practice. Something like Qigong won’t immediately feel comfortable because it requires you to be unavailable to others so that you can be 100% available for yourself!
You can even ‘save time’ bringing meditation, exercise, breathing and intention in your own qigong practice that works for you!
Get support, coaching & mentoring
Finally, you may already practice Qigong but feel that you aren’t progressing as much as you would like. Reflect on what might be holding you back.
Do you need a partner to help motivate you?
Are you stuck in certain movements?
Do you need a role model?
Acting on managing stress can go a long way to rejuvenating your life after COVID. And remember! I am with you on this journey! I would love to speak with you about your Qigong practice, as well as share what I have learned. Have you joined our Power of SHE Sleep. Health. Energy. FB group where we share free tai chi and qigong videos? It’s free for a limited time!
Want to manage your stress? Let’s talk?