When we think of stress, we typically think of our mental and emotional state of being. However, the body can also feel stress physically. You may notice pain in your back and hips from sitting too much at work. You may feel tension in your jaw after an emotional hardship or stressful period in your life. You may detect a slight ache in your neck from craning over your computer all day. Your stress can show up physically in your body in various ways and can be accompanied by numerous other symptoms including:
Low energy. Headaches. Chest pains. Digestive Issues. Increased heart rate. Trouble sleeping. Increased likelihood of infections and illness. And more!
These symptoms alongside physical aches and pains are signs to pay better attention to how stress shows up in your life and on your body so that you can begin an appropriate treatment plan. Stretching your normal areas of tension is one of the ways to treat your physical stress. Below is a list of stretches to help you begin determine the most effective action plan to treat your stress.
Standing Quadricep StretchBegin standing with your left SIDE beside a wall or support. Place your left hand on the support as you very slight bend your left knee in preparation for balance on this leg. Slowly lift your right foot off of the ground and bend your right knee so that your right heel pulls inward toward the back of your right leg or glute. Using your right hand reach behind you to grab ahold of your right food. Gently pull your right foot further in toward the back of you leg or glute. Be sure not to tilt your hips but rather remain upright as you hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3x.Seated Pigeon Hip StretchSit up straight with your back off of the chair and feet flat on the ground in front of you about shoulder width apart.Cross your left leg over your right by bringing your left ankle on top of your right knee.Place your left hand palm down on your left knee and right hand cusping the underneath side of your left foot.Gently inhale as you push your left knee downward toward the ground with left hand & gently pull your left foot upwards using your right-hand.Take a few steady inhales and exhales and hold for 20-30 seconds. Release and repeat 2-3x on each side.Standing Chair Groin StretchStanding upright with your left SIDE about 6-12 inches in front of a grounded chair, begin to bend very slightly your right knee in preparation for balancing on this leg. Lift your left leg and place it on top of the chair’s seat beside of you. Straighten your left leg as you allow your toes to point upward and foot flexes inward. Place your hands on a nearby support(wall, desk, guardrail, etc.) or on your hips. Slowly bend your right knee even more until you feel a comfortable stretch in groin and leg. Take some intentional fluid inhales and exhales as you hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 1-3x on each side.Standing Chair Hamstring StretchStanding upright about 6-12 inches in front of a grounded chair, begin to bend very slightly your right knee in preparation for balancing on this leg. Lift your left leg and place it on the chair’s seat in front of you. Straighten your left leg as you allow your toes to point upward and foot flexes inward. Slowly bend at your hip down toward your left leg as you reach your hands toward your left foot, ankle or shin. Relax your hands on top of the furthest spot you can reach comfortably on your leg as you take some intentional fluid inhales and exhales. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 1-3x on each side.Calf wall stretch Standing upright directly in front of a wall, simply begin by placing both palms on the wall about shoulders width and height. Lift your left foot so that your toes and forefoot is placed on the wall and the heel remains on the ground. Using your hands gently allow your chest to inch closer to the wall in front of you. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds as you take your fluid breaths. Repeat 2-3x on each side.Do you desire additional support and ideas of how to treat your physical tension and stress? Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey