Posted by on 12/15/2019 to Let's Talk: Relax, Soak and Unwind after Work
Benefits and Types of Stretches to Relieve Stress at Home or at Work
One of the great things about incorporating stretching into a daily routine is that you can literally do it anytime of the day, and most likely find a location to do them as well, depending on the degree of the stretch. Stretching has many benefits, but one of the most crucial benefits is that stretching has the ability to help relieve stress. In stressful situations our muscles physically tense up, and the muscles that become tense vary from person to person (Healthline).
Many people experience tension in there neck, back and shoulder areas. I know for myself I am accustomed to tension headaches if I use to become extremely stressed or fatigued. There are tons of stretching exercises you can implement dependent upon where the stressed muscles are. It's so important that you as an individual continue to find time for yourself to pause, reflect or try and become re-centered. For myself, this always begins with proper focused breathing techniques for relaxation. But, in this post let's delve into some stretching exercises for stress relief.
Incorporate these Other Stretches for Stress Relief into your Daily Routine:
Rotation Left & Rotation Right Stretch:
This technique is all about the tension and stretch in your neck. Start with good posture and your spine in a nice neutral position. Focus on your breathing, like always, and turn your neck to the right, as if attempting to look over your right shoulder. Now, I like to then come back to my neutral position (pause) and go to the left, and do this back and forth. You can also focus on just rotating your head to the right first for a few counts, and then do the same to your left. It's really what helps and feels most comfortable to you.
Here are some other good neck stretching exercises that you may find helpful:
This yoga stretch works the back, hips and thighs. This is one of our favorite, easy stretches for stress relief. (a) This stretching exercise unfortunately starts on all fours (hands and knees) so you may not be able to do this stretch "just anywhere". The focus here is going to be on inhaling and exhaling while posturing your body. (b) So as you exhale, you want to focus on pulling your abdomen up toward your back/spine, arch your back (round it off) as much as you can and then tuck you chin into your chest. (c) Start to relax different portions of you back, first the lower back, then mid, then upper as you come out of the tuck and then flex you chin forward and up.
Here is a good look at the Cat-Cow Stretch:
Upper Back Stretch:
So we've hit on the neck, lower back, and hip area's with some simple stretches, how about a chest stretch to help with stress management. So this one begins with standing straight with your spine in a neutral position, then clasp your hands behind your back, bring your elbows up and back, almost like you are trying to touch them together, then puff out your chest. Once in this position, extend your arms/hands toward the floor and lean back slightly. You should feel a good stretch in your chest/pectorals. Count for 15-30 seconds, then bring your chest back up and release your hands.
Trouble following, watch this chest stretch video:
We hope you can incorporate some of these stretches into your daily routine for stress relief. There are many benefits of stretching, including helping with range of motion (ROM) or flexibility, posture improvement, increasing blood flow to muscles, and even improving your daily physical activities and helping you to perform them better and more effectively. The point is, the more you incorporate these stretches, the more health benefits you will likely see, whether that is mind or body or both. Try some of these and see what you think and how you feel afterwards.
Thanks so much for visiting us here at RN to Zen. We hope some of these strategies can make your day a little better and easier to manage. See you soon!
Editors, R. D. (2017, February 13). Stretching Exercises for Stress Relief. Retrieved from https://www.thehealthy.com/mental-health/stress/stretching-exercises-for-stress-relief/.
Lindberg, S. (2018, June 18). 9 Benefits of Stretching: How to Start, Safety Tips, and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-stretching#benefits.
Stretching and Restorative Yoga for Stress Relief. (2019, November 14). Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/13721413-stretches-restorative-yoga-stress-relief/.
These 5 Stress-Relieving Stretches Will Help You Wind Down After A Long Day. (2017, October 12). Retrieved from https://www.elitedaily.com/p/5-stretches-that-reduce-stress-are-perfect-for-winding-down-after-a-long-day-2900127.