When push comes to shove,
pause, and take back your power
Submitted by Dr. Angela Santavicca
A few years ago, whenever I got stressed or too busy, I used to do this thing that blows my mind now.
I used to be in the “ignore it and push through it” club. I’d take the stress/overwork hit, but just keep going. Day after day, week after week, and yep, year after year.
Everyday I’d hear the voice in my head: “I’ll deal with this later.” And the righteous part of me would be super proud– because you know what? I was a hard worker, and I could take it.
Even though I was able to handle the actual work … I didn’t always manage the stress. Well … guess what? Eventually, one way or another, you end up having to deal with it.
You can end up getting sick, having headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, getting injured, or feeling burned out.
If you’re also a member of the “push through it” club … you may want to consider jumping over into the “self-care club” instead … because that’s where the real power is.
One way to take back your power and create a sense of well-being and flow is through some simple energy exercises anyone can do. The practice is called qi gong (pronounced chee gong) and literally means being skillful with energy. It’s an amazing energy fitness program that will help restore your body-mind while helping you feel great, sleep well, and convert stress to vital life force energy. See details below for free class offerings.
Stress manifests in us and effects the 3 main energy centers: Our physical body, our emotions, and our mental state. In the body it’s a tightness; maybe in the neck and shoulders, low back, chest, or gut. Our stress response is linked to emotional reactions (think anger, frustration, resignation) which have physical and mental consequences. Our emotions affect our posture and our breathing. Similarly, our mental state can also affect us physically and emotionally. The 3 energy centers are linked and in constant communication, so one affects the other. The good news is, when you replenish any one of these centers, it has a positive effect on the others.
When it comes to your health and beating stress, what you do everyday matters.
There is a way to keep up with your responsibilities at home and at work… while you’re listening to your body and managing your stress levels along the way, now that’s power!
We all have less than skillful ways of shoving stress down or eating our way through it. Here are a few things you can do every day to help your body-mind learn how to soften, relax, and move through the day with less stress and more energy.
7 ways to take back your power and stay on track in a sustainable way:
When you’re stressed/busy, taking just a few minutes for controlled, mindful breathing can help your body’s stress control system do its job. There are many mindful breathing techniques I teach in Qi Gong
- Move your body.
This is one of the best stress-relievers out there! Exercise works on a hormonal level to help you feel calmer, less stressed, and more relaxed. Qi Gong is a fantastic way to be kind to your body and move gently and effectively to restore well-being.
- Get a new perspective.
Studies show that spending time in nature (just a few minutes) can help cut stress. Pausing and stepping back can give you the space to see more clearly.
- Focus on nutrition & hydration.
Stress can make you crave high-calorie foods that contain a LOT of sugar and fat. This can make you feel tired, blah, and sluggish. Drink a half a cup of water before each meal. You’ll actually absorb the water instead of it running right through you. Upgrade your choices to include nutrient-dense whole foods that help you feel better. I’ll give additional simple hydration tips at each class.
- Make time for recovery (relaxation, sleep).
When you sleep, your body is helping you recover from yesterday so you can be rejuvenated to tackle tomorrow. Make sure to wind down, slow down, and go to bed early enough so you can get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
- Build and lean into your support network.
Having people around you (in-person or virtually) who love you, care about you, and hold you accountable is everything!
- Feed your mind.
Make sure you get a steady diet of positive input- getting some fresh air, the sights and sounds of nature, listening to inspiring podcasts and audiobooks, reading self-development books, or learning about fitness & wellness … it can keep you motivated and moving forward.
It’s the little things you do every day that will have the biggest impact on your energy, resilience, fitness, and health! Once you recognize you’re in another one of those ‘push through it’ moments, ask yourself “what can I do right now to decrease my stress?” You can even make a little sign for your desk or workspace to remind you to pause when you feel tight and are forcing through on auto pilot.
Want to go a step further and learn an amazing energy fitness program that will help restore your body mind while helping you feel great, sleep well, and convert stress to vital life force energy?
Join me for a 4-class series QiGong with Dr. Angela at Post Pond Tuesday evenings June 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 5 pm. Come to one class, come to many. You’ll learn simple, practical ways to pay attention to you and move through your day with more ease, energy, and enjoyment. Here’s the link so you can sign up and get reminders:
I hope to “Qi” you there!
Here’s to your health and personal power,