We all know that part of being healthy is eating the right foods and moving our bodies every day. Here is a lesser-known way to improve our health right away.
We’ve all heard that managing our stress is important for our mental health, but science has proven that just managing our stress or removing a stressor isn’t enough. The concept of completing the stress cycle goes back to our primitive days and is more powerful than just managing stress or removing the stressor. The fact is: we encountered the stressor, and our bodies have a physiologic need to convert from our fight or flight response (the stress) to the rest, digest, and restore response. By removing the stressor or deep breathing through a stressful time, we are missing the crucial step of moving from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic keeping the stress trapped in the tissues, quite literally.
The best way to complete the stress cycle is to move your body. Imagine thousands of years ago, foraging for food and you stumble upon a bear (stressor). What would you think to do? Run away! The flight part of your fight or flight response would kick in to save your tushy, and when you escaped unscathed, you would have burned off the excess stress hormones that gave you the power to run faster than a bear. You don’t have to run to complete the stress cycle, you can move your body in whatever way makes you feel good. Walk, cycle, swim, hike, yoga, Pilates, boxing…the options are pretty endless. If you can’t or just absolutely won’t move your body, studies have shown that a 6-second kiss, or a 20-second hug will also complete the stress cycle. Primitively, once we ran away from the bear, we’d end up with our tribe who’d hug us and comfort us for completing such an amazing feat.
Get to moving, hugging, and kissing more; then go conquer the world, my loves!
About Your Columnist
Sharleen Lawrence is a featured columnist for Women Lead, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence. Sharleen is the owner and Chief Executive HypnoPuncturist at Empire Wellness Center. Since 2015, she has been helping people improve their physical and mental health using cutting edge technology and ancient tools to harmonize their mind, body, and soul. She developed the HypnoPuncture Method by combining hypnosis with acupuncture and has helped transform the lives of hundreds of women by reprogramming their subconscious mind for healing and success.