Have you been feeling stressed out lately? Stretching exercises may help to relieve some of that. Stress and tension or pain in the body are more closely related than you may think. Oftentimes, when someone is feeling stress in their life, even if it is just mental, it can begin to manifest itself in your body. From joint pain, to chronic back pain, muscle tension, injuries, and even headaches, stress can take a huge toll on your life. Stretching has many health benefits, including stress relief, which can benefit your mental health. Doing a few simple stretches a day, if that is all you can fit into your busy schedule, can help to improve blood flow, release tension, and help to relieve many ailments caused by stress like heart rate and blood pressure issues.
This hamstring stretch has many benefits, including reducing stress. In addition to releasing the hamstrings, it is also a lower back and upper back stretch.
- Begin by standing straight up, with your arms down by your sides.
- Start tucking your chin to your chest and rolling down towards the floor.
- Reach your arms to the floor and allow the weight of your head to drop.
- Stop when you feel a gentle stretch and continue to let gravity pull you down.
Knees to Chest
This stretch is a great recovery position to allow those muscles to relax. In this position, it is important to breathe into the lower back so that it can release. This is a great lower and upper back stretch, as well as being beneficial for the hip flexors.
- Begin by laying on your back with your legs straightened out in front of you.
- Pull both knees up to a ninety degree angle, with your shins facing the ceiling.
- Wrap both arms around your knees and pull them towards your chest.
- Allow your hip flexors and back to relax in this recovery position.
- Hold for 1 minute and repeat.
A child’s pose is the perfect stretch to relieve lower back tension and relax through deep breathing. It is a great recovery position, as well as being a back and shoulder stretch.
- Begin by sitting on your knees, sitting straight up in the starting position.
- Slowly slide your hands forward along the floor, while keeping your hips as close to your feet as possible.
- Remain in this position for 30-45 seconds, allowing your muscles to release and relax in it.
Breathe Away Stress
Are you holding your breath? Is your breath happening normally? Are you aware of your breath? Usually, during times of stress, tension, and anxiety, we hold our breath, which stops the flow of blood and oxygen throughout our body. So what you want to do whenever you feel tense, stressed, or anxious:
- Take a deep breath.
- Let it go!
- Don’t hold onto the things that no longer serve you.
Stretching is a great tool for this. At Kika Stretch Studios, we help release all the tension that you don’t need anymore!
Bonus Stretch! Stress Relieving Stretches Before Bed
Do you feel that chronic stress right before bed, and struggle to sleep at night? This neck stretch will help you to relieve tension and find your breath so that you can easily fall asleep, and wake up refreshed.
- Begin by standing straight up with your arms down by your side, looking straight ahead for the starting position.
- Reach your right arm over your head to your left ear, and gently pull your head towards your right shoulder.
- Drop your shoulders and allow the weight of your hand and gravity to stretch the side of your neck.
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Change sides, reaching your left arm to your right ear.