Stress is an inevitable part of daily life. In fact, experts agree that some stress is necessary, even good.
However, unrelenting stress can take a toll on the mind and body, affecting everything from your mood to your health, and even your weight.
Some of the harmful effects of too much stress can be reduced in less than 10 minutes, according to Steve Sisgold, lecturer and author of â€œWhole Body Intelligence.â€
Sisgoldâ€™s article detailing his stress-management protocol, originally published in RodaleNews.com., was reprinted on the Mind Body Green blog in early December.
You only need to carve out a few minutes of time to experience up to 55 percent less stress in under 10 minutes, according to Sisgold.
Find a few minutes and disconnect from the outside world and all of its pressures. Locate a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be interrupted.
Concentrate on your breathing, inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Do this three times. On each exhale, loosen your jaw and let your mouth drop open.
Scan your body from head to toe. Spend 30 seconds or more to inventory your body experience â€” body sensation, tensions, posture, etc.
Report what you have noticed in your body â€” either speak it out loud so you hear your own voice, or say it silently to yourself.
Allow your body to return to a natural, relaxed state by moving in some way that shakes off or reduces tension. As an example, if you find your shoulders are high up near your ears, relax and lower them.
Take a minute or two to notice if you feel more connected to yourself. Imagine an ocean wave or a wave form in your mindâ€™s eye as you breathe slowly in and out.
Decide on the next purposeful action to take. Identify your top priority in the moment. Inhale and exhale with one more conscious breath, stay focused on your intention, and go do it.