Five exercises to beat burnout and stress


Hitting the sidewalks, despite what we’ve been led to believe, could In fact, it is not the best way to escape from a bad mood.. Academics at Ohio State University compared “arousal-increasing” activities like hitting a bag, jogging, bicycling, and swimming with “arousal-decreasing” activities; deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation and yoga. The latter were most effective in calming anger, while jogging (to increase arousal) was the activity most likely to increase anger.

Is it time we started thinking about exercise differently?

Nahid de Belgeonne, author and educator of somatic movements, believes so. “It would be a shame if we only thought of movement as a ‘self-improvement’ exercise or yoga, but didn’t experience any change in our emotional state, because we’re just going through the motions,” she says.

Knowing what type of exercise to focus on when we need it is key. Do you feel full of energy? A boxing session could be the ticket. Exhausted? Something more restorative might allow stress chemicals to move through you more effectively.

Here are five stress-busting exercises you can try, and you don’t have to leave the room.

1. Shake and drum

When we feel stuck emotionally, movement helps to let things go. So body movement techniques, like shaking and drumming, try to move a feeling inside you, Meffan says.

“These ancient Chinese medicine techniques are great for frustration because they are quite vigorous,” he explains.

Standing with your feet apart, begin to bend your knees at the same time, moving your hands to the sides at the same time, and then stand up, increasing the pace of your shaking movements. Watch the video above for a demonstration.

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“There’s a literal connection between physically shaking your body and that connection with shaking something about yourself,” Meffan continues. “It gets rid of stagnation, repressed rage and anger.”

Once you’ve shaken enough, take a moment to be still and notice how your mind and body feel.

Drumming, again, is literally beating the body. “Body drumming is awakening the body energetically and physically you are moving stagnant energy.”

Start lightly, with gentle fists, go down, hit the back of your legs, and then up the inside of your legs. You can raise one arm and rotate it to the back of the shoulder and then to the other side.

“Women should be careful with the uterus area. But it is good to work quite hard on the lower back and shoulders,” says Meffan.

If you can, sit or lie down afterwards so you can absorb any new sensations.

“Our brains easily go to the physical, but what we’re trying to release is the emotional,” Meffan says.

Ask at the beginning and at the end how you feel. “But don’t get attached to that feeling. We know that emotions ebb and flow; We go through thousands of emotions in a day.”

2. Mobility challenge



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