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7 Healthy Ways To Release Holiday Stress


Many people go through the motions during Christmas. If notthe whole holiday season just parts. I see them slumped inline, not a smile to be found, their body stiff, justcounting the number of people ahead of them, and time. Giftgiving or even receiving is right, wrong, good, bad, orconsidered a waste. The control of it all, tightens thebody, encompasses the soul, and buries the magic. Where isthe release or where do we begin? It starts mindfully witha choice, movement in the body, and a change of spirit.Resolve to release the stress of it all, the need forcontrol, the right, or the wrong. Stand tall, smile, talkto your neighbor, give them the acknowledgment just like youwant and deserve whether it's one minute or more.

1. Lower back release. Stand facing a wall. Palms flatagainst the wall, arms stretched, body angled straight, bendone knee, and place it closer to the wall. Bend gentletowards the wall. Close your eyes and see the tension inyour back. Envision it as a light. Mindfully move thatlight down your legs out into the floor. If the lightprefers, let it travel through the arms into the wall. Itdoesn't matter, just that it goes. What is so nice aboutthis release is there is usually a wall available anywhereyou go or you can use this release in the shower at home.

2. Breathing exercises cleanse. Lay down, a bed or couchwork well, talk through a speech, or just talk aloud. Atthe same time breathe deeply, watch your stomach rise andfall, the same way a baby's does when lying on their backasleep. This will help you find your authentic voice; itwill probably sound different than ever before. Listen tothat voice, remember it well, use it often and what thechange in people who are listening.

3. Cheek, not facial, squeezing and release can be donesitting in your office chair or while you are driving.Squeeze, release, squeeze, release. Alternatively, playeach cheek to the beat of a song. Squeeze first the right,then the left, and then the right again. "Buttock dancing"is a great release for the back and shoulders. It's okay tolaugh through this because it then fades into number 4below.

4. Laughter. Rent some funny movies or create your ownlaughter. Try this: sit, feet firmly on the ground, bendforward with elbows on your knees. Take a deep breath andlet out a big laugh. A hearty one, the kind from thestomach, the kind you try to hide. Repeat until you feelthat the body releases the stress. It usually doesn't takebut two or three times. If you are a speaker, do thisbefore entering the room.

5. Do something wild. Streak across your room; sway nakedin the moonlight, or dance to wild music with your spouse.Let the hair down, let go of control. When was the lasttime you were not in control, the time you left allinhabitations go, you went with your own personal flow? Ifyou are a writer, write wildly as if no censorship, norules. Use wild, daring words, don't ask what they mean orspell like they sound. Release the wildness everyday, itkeeps the diseases at bay, it's better than an apple a day.If a runner, fling your arms wildly around, as if goingwild. Because actually, you am. Make ugly faces. Stand upin front of your computer screen, dance and sway toimaginary music if none is around. Howl at the moon andeven share it with friends. Bring some drums and strum.

6. Sounds. Let out a "yippee" or a big "yes" loud or soft,in a car by yourself, or in your cubby hole at your deskwhen you have completed something or did something well.Let out a "You go, Girl" cry with a powerful arm thrust.Open your mouth wide and verbally say the vowels, "aa, ee,ii, oo, uu." (This is my favorite release before and aftera speech, it loosens the throat.) Yawn with sounds andstretch with the yawn. Burp with oops and pride instead ofapology and shame. It's only a body movement nothing more.When someone else does it, respond well, with jest ratherthan a disapproving glare.

7. All choked up. Our throat harbors our unspoken dreamsand uncried tears caused from stress, of trying to be incontrol. Use a pillow to muffle, or find a field where noone can hear, yell and shout, but don't shriek, from thedepth of your belly. This sends any blocked energy from thethroat away. Your voice, even your body, may feel drainedas the toxins held inside get released, especially if youkeep it up for 10 or 15 minutes (your goal). Try this a daybefore a speech to lower your pitch and relax your throat.You will see a new sense of commanding power with a newauthentic voice in your writing or in your speaking.

These are seven various ways to let go of stress in yourbody, open up your writing, improve your presentationquality, or return your self-confidence and personal power.It's easy to forget we need to let go, become wild intoorder to take back our own control. Control of our healthand not take it for granted. You can also use any one ofthese in the shower. Singing in the shower is a healthyrelease of stress, in tune or not. Health is the one thingin life money can't buy.

Copyright 2004, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

Catherine Franz, a eight-year Certified Professional Coach,Graduate of Coach University, Mastery University, editor ofthree ezines, columnist, author of thousands of articleswebsite: http://www.abundancecenter.comblog: http://abundance.blogs.com

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