Episode 56: How to Release Stress

Episode 56: How to Release Stress

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Stress triggers the flight or fight response because our brain doesn’t know the difference between everyday stresses & physical threats. Let’s explore how to release stress from our bodies.

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HOW TO RELEASE STRESS

OUR INNER CAVEMAN

The daily stressors we encounter aren’t life-threatening. We get agitated driving, standing in line at the post office, or with someone at the office. While those situations can raise our blood pressure, we aren’t in actual danger. But our bodies don’t know that.

Our primal bodies don't understand how to handle everyday stresses. Our primal bodies are built to run from danger. If there's danger and you can't run, you freeze and play dead. Our internal system doesn't understand how to handle the person annoying us in the office, the grocery store line, or a social media post and how it triggers us.

We also send mixed messages to the body because our internal system wants to react and get out of the situation, while society tells us to be nice, be compassionate, and just deal with it. So we shove our feelings down, even subconsciously, while denying ourselves the acknowledgment that this stress is real and needs to be addressed.

SIX LANES OF STRESS

My husband and I recently went on a road trip to see my nephew’s baseball tournament. It was a family event we were so excited to attend. However, the three-hour road trip we had planned extended to five-and-a-half hours of slow-going, maddening stress. I was mentally prepared for three hours in the car, but certainly not almost double that time!

When we arrived at the meeting point, the traffic was still impossible. So to get to my family, I had to get out of the car and walk across six lanes of traffic with no traffic light. I had my toddler with me, which made it even more stressful. We did make it safely across, but my stress was at maximum capacity by then.

A hug was not the first thing my family received when we reached them. I shook out my body and made some sounds, and just allowed that stress to get out of my body. Keeping it inside was simply not an option. I didn’t want to carry all that pent-up stress with me and take a chance that it could ruin my day. So I let it out!

The best thing to do when you are stressed is to get the stress out of your body.

COMPLETE THE STRESS CYCLE

Let’s go back in time and imagine someone running from a tiger. This person can sense the danger and run to get away. They hurriedly rush back to a place of safety and away from the threat. Then, their body relaxes, and they have completed the stress cycle.

First, they felt the fear or stressor. Then, they moved their physical body to get away from the danger. Lastly, they allowed themselves to come down from the stress in a place where they were safe. These steps are essential to get the stress out of your body!

Thankfully, most of us aren’t running from wild creatures that might want to eat us, but we encounter everyday situations where the urge to run is real. However, running out of a tense situation isn’t always appropriate, so we must develop ways to release that stress appropriately.

You must completely release the stress at some point in the day.

SHAKE IT OFF

We are all going to experience stress, and some of us do on a daily basis. We must get those feelings out to complete the primal stress system. While we aren’t running from physical danger, we experience situations where we feel the urge to run away quickly.

For example, you’re at a dinner party, and the conversation is making your heart pump loudly. Or perhaps you’re in a meeting that’s making your pulse race. You can’t just get up and run, but you can start to discharge the stress as soon as possible.

You can release it by shaking your body out and even by exercising. I like to go for a walk because it lets me let go of the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual stress I’ve picked up throughout the day. If you don't let it out, it just gets pent up, and that’s when dis-ease within the body occurs.

Stress will come out at some point, but that's usually through burnout, injury, and mental health issues. We want to avoid that!

SQUEEZE AND RELEASE

Moving your body in whatever way is available is the best way to release the pent-up stress within your body. When I used to teach yoga, I taught a powerful exercise that can immediately allow the stress to move out of the body. It’s as simple as tensing up your muscle and then releasing them.

Try this:

  • Make a tight fist, then release it.
  • Tense up your arms, and release.
  • Move to your legs and squeeze those muscles as tight as possible, then release them.

You can tense one section of your body at a time, starting at the feet and going up to the legs, knees, buttocks, tummy, chest, and then arms. You can even scrunch up your face and relax it. You can do one section at a time, or you can do the whole body. These releasing exercises allow a flush of fresh, oxygenated blood to go through your body.

STRESS INVITES NEGATIVITY

Having some form of stress relief at your disposal is essential to keeping your brain healthy and away from negative thought patterns that keep you stuck in loops and cycles that are not for your highest good. Without a release, a constant state of stress will keep you blocked and replaying old thought patterns and behaviors.

Recognizing these patterns is the first step in releasing them. One of the best things you can do when you realize this is happening is to tell yourself:

"I realize that this same thought is popping into my brain over and over again. I'm telling myself this lie over and over and over and over again. It's time to release it. It's time to let it go."

We get into these loops of negativity where the loop keeps going over and over. We keep repeating the same patterns and saying the same things to ourselves because we haven't allowed the stress to be completely released from the body. Release the stress; release the pattern!

GET OUTSIDE AND BREATHE

We aren’t going to live stress-free lives, although that would be amazing! Stress is a part of life. When we allow stress and emotions to be processed healthily, we notice how differently the mind, body, and soul feel, even on the most stressful days.

Go outside in nature.

  • Run
  • Walk
  • Stretch your body
  • Breathe

Breathing is a fantastic way to release energy. Bring yourself back to the conscious breath. Remind yourself you're safe and that it's okay to let go of emotions and stress. It's okay to feel good!

Remind yourself:

"It's okay if I'm feeling stressed at this moment. I know it will pass. I'm going to release it with the breath that I take."

TUNE IN AND LET THE STRESS OUT

The more you get in tune with the stress that your physical, emotional, and mental bodies are feeling, the easier it will be for you to recognize, release, and choose something different. You deserve to feel good.

Allow stress to be removed from the system daily in some way, shape, or form. Shake it out, make some primal sounds, and move that stress out of your body. Make it a habit of releasing stress before it becomes pent-up and keeps you from living your best life. It’s healthy to release and let go!

If you enjoyed this episode with Amy Robeson, we would love to invite you to check out other inspirational episodes by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Full transcription of the episode:

Hello everyone. Welcome to today's episode. I am so excited you are here. I want to talk about stress. Have you ever been in a situation where you're like, "Oh my God, please get me out of here. I can't stand it. I don't want to do this. I'm so stressed out. Get me out of here." But there's no escaping it.

And I'll give you an example. My husband and I, we were going to go see my nephew's baseball tournament for the weekend. It was awesome. We were so excited to go there. And it was supposed to be a three-hour drive at most. And in this three-hour drive, it became a five-and-a-half-hour drive because of traffic, and my internal alarm system was going off. My stress was at its maximum capacity in that particular moment. And part of the reason why my stress was so high was I mentally prepared myself for 3 hours. I did not mentally prepare myself to be in the car for five and a half hours. And every time we just saw the navigation system just never moving in, the amount of time only increasing, even though we've been sitting in the car long, it gets really. really stressful.

And I think that it's really important when we are in a stressful situation because that's only driving. Like, our primal bodies really don't understand how to handle everyday stresses. Our primal body is meant if there's danger, you run. If there's danger and you can't run, you freeze, you play dead. Our internal system doesn't really understand how to handle the person that's annoying us in the office, or that's annoying us in the grocery store line, or looking at something on social media and how it triggers us.

Our internal systems don't fully understand how to process the stress. When society tells us to be nice, to be kind, to be compassionate, but our primal system is going, "I can't stand this, get me out of here." But then you have to shove your feelings down. You have to shove your emotions down. And I think that this is where the shoving of the emotions happens very unconsciously sometimes.

Where we are in just everyday situations where stress can be pressing against us or be influencing us in some way, shape or form. And we're not able to process the stress in that particular moment. And so it's really, really important to process the stress when you are able to. And for me, it didn't end with the car. I'm going to tell you how I processed my stress once I got out of the car.

So we finally arrived where my husband and I were to meet my inlaws and it was an insanely busy intersection. My husband like, "I don't even think we're going to be able to cross this for like 20 minutes." So he suggested that I take our daughter and I just walk across. Well, I thought it was like maybe like a block down to where a traffic light was, so I can cross six lanes of traffic. So to add more stress to my already stressed-out primal body, I take my daughter out and then realize as I'm walking down to get to where I need to be, there is no traffic light.

And so my entire nervous system is trembling. I have to cross six lanes of traffic with my almost two-year-old. My system was taxed. Did I make it across? Yes. People were kind enough to stop for us, which was awesome. By the time I got across the street, my stress was at beyond its maximum capacity. I was done. And so the first thing I did when I saw my family, I did not hug them, I said hello and I shook out my entire body. I made some sounds. I let it all out because all that stress was being pent up, pent up, pent up, pent up. And it had to go somewhere, and somewhere was out. It wasn't down, it wasn't in my body. It had to get out.

And so the best thing to do when you are stressed is to get the stress out of your body. Get those emotions out, get those feelings out to complete the primal system of stress and the primal system of stress to complete the stress system is to let it out. So back in the day, we would run from the tiger, we would run into our village, we would see our people, we would find a safety place, and then the system naturally would start to relax because you got all the stress system out. But when somebody is, let's say, annoying you while you're at a dinner party or at work, and you can't just run away because you have to stay in the meeting or you have to continue in the dinner conversation or whatever the reason is, it's really important that you completely release the stress at some moment that day.

You can release it by shaking your body out. You can release it by exercising. Yeah, exercising. Exercising is a great way to release the stress. I know for me, if I go for a walk, I feel much better if I go for a walk than if I didn't go for a walk because it allows me to let go of the mental stress, the physical stress, the spiritual stress, the emotional stress that I am feeling. If you don't let it out, it just gets pent up. And then distortion, disease, within the body occurs. And then what ends up happening is the stress will come out at some point in time, but that's usually through burnout, injury, mental health. So we want to complete it.

Another thing to do is to move your body in whatever way. So if you don't like the term exercise because some people don't like exercise. Some people can't physically exercise either. And if you're in a state where you have some physical things going on, where you can't physically exercise that's hard to be like, "Complete the stress cycle by exercising." No, you actually don't have to exercise in order to do this.

One of the things you can do, which I used to love teaching this when I used to teach yoga, is you can tense up your muscles. And so you can, like, make a fist, tense up your arms, squeeze them hard next to your body, engage your legs, and then release it. And you can do these releasing exercises, which is really awesome because it allows like a flush of blood, fresh, oxygenated blood, to go through your body. And so you can tense one little section of your body at a time, starting at the feet, going up to the legs, up to the knees, up to the butt, up to the tummy, the chest, the arms, even like, scrunching up your face and then relaxing it. You can do one section at a time, or you can do the whole body.

This is also very helpful to do if you're in a situation where "You know what? I'm super stressed out. These people are stressing me out. This situation stressing me out." You can literally just do it with your arms down by your side or you can excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to allow the stress and the emotions to be processed healthy, in a healthy way, and release them. You'll start to notice how different your mind, body, soul feels by doing this.

Also, exercise, if you can exercise or doing some sort of stress release is going to help keep the brain healthy as well. If you're in a state of stress, that also puts you in a state of negativity. And I find that we can get into these loops of negativity where the loop keeps going over and over and over and over again. We keep repeating the same patterns, saying the same things to ourselves because we haven't allowed the stress to be completely released from the body.

And so one of the best things to do when this is happening is to recognize that, "Hey, I realize that this same thought is popping into my brain over and over again. I'm telling myself this lie over and over and over and over again. It's time to release it. It's time to let it go." Go outside in nature. If you can't go for a walk or go for a run, or you can go and just stretch your body outside, do some breathing exercises. The breath is an amazing way to release the energy as well.

I think that that's super uber-duper important. And so if you're not in a place where the physicality part of it breathe, bring yourself back to the conscious breath. Remind yourself you're safe. Remind yourself that it's okay to let go of the emotions. Let go of the stress. Remind yourself it's okay to feel good too. It's okay to feel good. It's okay if I'm feeling this in this moment, I know it will pass. I'm going to release it with the breath that I take.

The more that you get in tune with the stress that your body, your physical body, is feeling, your emotional body is feeling, your spiritual body is feeling, the easier it's going to be for you to recognize and release it and choose something different. You deserve to feel good. Yes, you do. So allow stress to be released out of the system on a daily basis in some way, shape, or form.

And like I said before, you can shake it out. You can make some primal sounds. It's super healthy. Super, super beneficial. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. I hope you release a ton of stress today from your physical body.

I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Please make sure you like and subscribe. I will see you soon. Bye.

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