It’s no surprise that so many people feel stressed out. We’re living in a hyper-connected world where we’re always “on,” and multi-tasking is the new normal. Add in the constant fear-mongering by our ratings-driven news media and the fact that paying the bills is an increasingly difficult goal for many, and it’s little wonder that stress is on the rise.
According to the American Institute of Stress (who knew we had one?!) some 44 percent of Americans feel more stressed than they did five years ago, and 1 in 5 experience extreme stress. In fact, the AIS estimates that stress causes 60% of all human illness and disease and that 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments. (Stress also costs the nation about $300 billion in medical bills and lost productivity every year.)
Called ‘the silent killer’, stress is increasingly recognized by Western medicine as a major contributor to some of the most persistent and chronic diseases of our time — think heart disease, cancer, obesity, and depression.
In my private practice, I see the results of stress on a daily basis. Many of my clients literally ‘trap’ stress in their bodies, and it manifests itself as poor posture, persistent pain, tension, thickness, bloating, and even excess weight. But there is a solution. I’ve developed techniques based on my one-on-one work with clients that help them to get their bodies back in alignment and reduce these symptoms — and the good news is you can do this at home with just a foam roller. What I’ve seen is that once the physical symptoms are alleviated, people often are able to reduce the stress that caused those symptoms in the first place.
As I like to say, when you align your body, you also align your mind and heart.
The following foam roller video sequence will help you unwind, connect with your body, and breathe better — all of which will help release tension and calm your mind. This combination of movements and mindful breathing will help regulate your nervous system to reduce stress, release tension and help you be more present in your body and mind.
Getting a good night’s sleep is also a great way to alleviate stress. Here are a few things to try just before bed:
- Try an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts contain magnesium, a powerful mineral that aids aid relaxation.
- Make your bed. According to the National Sleep Association, people who make their bed regularly are 19 percent more likely to sleep well.
- Make your bedroom a technology-free zone. Electronic devices emit an artificial blue light that activates the brain and makes it harder to sleep.
- Meditate. There are many methods of meditation from chanting a mantra to simply focusing on your breath. Find whatever method works for you. Don’t overthink it – just take the time to clear your mind.
For more information and videos please check out www.laurenroxburgh.com.