Dealing with stress on a day to day basis can bring out the worst in most people but thankfully we have the tools and the ability to decrease our levels of stress in a variety of ways.
The healthiest way to reduce levels of stress and increase relaxation is in some form of physical exertion. By reducing tension and increasing oxygen levels we can not only help our mental health but our physical health as well.
But exercise does not only include pumping iron or jogging miles, it can be gentle, rhythmic, and quiet as in Tai Chi and Yoga. Both provide the benefits of a healthy workout but at a pace that people of any age can participate in.
Both Yoga and Tai Chi originated and were practiced in the eastern regions of our world centuries ago and both involve freeing the body of tension and promoting flexibility. They include mindful and practiced breathing techniques as well as meditation for mind and body control. When done in conjunction with each other they can help release pent up stress and anxiety.
By developing a slow and rhythmic routine, lean muscle mass can be developed by using isometric tension. This form of progressive resistance increases core strength and muscle mass but it also alleviates tension throughout with its gentle stretching. Relieving tension promotes physical calmness and a more balanced state of mind.
Scheduling 20 minute sessions every other day can reap positives rewards quickly and in time, daily sessions will keep tension from building and the bring about the release of stress faster. All it takes is commitment.
Tai Chi and Yoga require very little for a beginner however it is advisable to attend a session with a reputable instructor for proper technique in movement and form. Though gentleness is the key to success, you should have the permission of your primary care physician before you tackle any new exercise.
There are many community centres that offer programs from beginners to a more advanced levels. There are also many DVDs available that can provide the basics depending on your level of fitness. The key is to start slow and maintain form with fluidity of motion.
Improving the mind, body balance has become an important part of our health and well-being. In the stressful times of today, reducing our stress must be one of our top priorities for a healthy body and a longer life.