Stress relief in the now – an instant stress relief series: Stretching

Picture this scenario, you have just woken up after a really long night’s sleep, what is the first thing you do? Well for most people it is stretching, sometimes it might be scrambling to get into the shower because you realised you overslept and now you’re late for work or school or a date or what have you, but for now lets focus on the stretching.

Stretching is something that isn’t just limited to feeling tired, we do it while we exercise, before a big excursion and some exercises are made of stretches, especially a lot of yoga moves. Stretching is good for making your body loose and limber, it also helps the blood flow better, just check out what this article titled, “Stretching: Focus on flexibility,” from mayoclinic.org has to say about it. Be careful though, according to the article you need to be mindful of your stretches and not over do it or else you’ll end up doing more harm than good.

So we now know that stretching is good for the body, but what about the mind? Can stretching help relieve stress and anxiety and all that other stuff? Let’s get into it.

According to this article called “Why Does Stretching Release Stress,” by Shoshana Hebshi-Holt many experts have looked into how stretching can relieve stress. These are the points that the article notes down about stretching (just to summarise):

  • Reduces stress, although I already told you that one.
  • Increases circulation, another point that I have already made
  • Reduces pain, when you are stressed out your body tenses up which can lead to pain, stretching helps relive that stress and thus some of the pain.
  • Deep breathes, according to the article people tend to take more deep breathes when they are stretching (which I think is true based on experience) and deep breathing is supposed to help calm you down anyway by itself, so it makes sense to think that the two together will do that much more.
  • Taking things slower, stretching means you take more time for yourself and you give yourself more time to analyse and notice things. In other words you are able to take a step back and put things in a different perspective.

Well that’s about it for this post, I think we have covered the basics if nothing else which is basically that stretching is a good way to relax yourself and handle stress. So the next time you feel stressed out try stretching for a while, there are a lot of different stretching exercises you can try out for yourself, here let me put a link to a site which teaches a few of those stretching exercises, I’ll leave it here.

Try it out its only stretching, and if it gets you feeling good then all the better.

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